This is the golden age of optics and photonics. Advancements in basic research, theory, design and synthesis, manufacturing technology, and application are furthering the creation of knowledge, enabling new products and services, building wealth, and helping humanity.
The SPIE makes innovation in optics and photonics possible by bringing together scientists, engineers, business people, humanitarians, and policymakers. It is in this role as a bridging institution that the SPIE is particularly effective because technologists become familiar with real world opportunities, problems, and constraints, and business people become aware of innovation and capabilities in optics and photonics. These relationships and communications enable innovation, entrepreneurship, and large-scale impact.
I am tremendously fond of the SPIE. I am the founding and current Chair of the Green Photonics Virtual Symposium at Photonics West. The Green Photonics Symposium provides visibility, facilitates access, and recognizes excellence with awards. I have been the moderator of various panel discussions at Photonics West on topics like innovation, industrial perspectives, and renewable energy. I was the Chair and Organizer of the SPIE Photonics Innovation Summit in 2008.
As good as the SPIE is (and it is very good!), I believe it can do even more to deliver value to scientists, engineers, and business people. Optics and photonics are foundational technologies; that is, optics and photonics have applications in many diverse fields. As we all know, this is both a challenge and an opportunity. The SPIE is uniquely well positioned to meet this challenge and exploit this opportunity by facilitating a two-way dialog around societal needs and technical capabilities in optics and photonics.