Photonics industry and STEM advocates associated with SPIE are commending the U.S. Congress and President Obama for their recognition of the importance of optics and photonics, following the signing Friday by the President of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (AICA).
The language of the act (S. 3084) specifically calls out optics and photonics. It amends and establishes programs of the U.S. National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology and for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
"We are very pleased to see this commitment on the part of the federal government to the technologies that will help ensure that jobs and talent stay in the U.S. and usher in next-generation technologies across many economic sectors," said Jason Mulliner, chair of the SPIE Engineering, Science, and Technology Policy committee.
On top of that, Mulliner said, "It is extremely gratifying to see that the AICA incorporates specific mention of optics and photonics technologies as recommended by volunteers from across the country who have visited Congressional offices on behalf of the National Photonics Initiative and SPIE constituents."