The award to a multi-partner consortium led by the State University of New York (SUNY) of a $110 matching grant to establish an Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IP-IMI) is an important milestone for the whole community, said SPIE leaders. The award was announced on 22 July by the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle newspaper, quoting New York Senator Charles Schumer who called the decision "amazingly good news." A formal announcement is expected from Washington, D.C., early next week.
"This announcement occurring during the United Nations-decreed observance of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015) is a very energizing event for our national photonics community," said Jim McNally, chair of the SPIE Engineering, Science, and Technology Policy committee. "National Photonics Initiative (NPI) and other advocacy activities intended to raise awareness among national, state, and local policy leaders and decision makers have produced a tangible outcome."
McNally noted that the establishment of a photonics-driven institute is a significant win for the industry as well as good for society and the economy.
"Having photonics as a key part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) adds to the recognition of our light-based science and technologies for their critical importance to our global competiveness and for contributions that significantly improve quality of life," he said.