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Latest Public Policy News


8 October: US Munitions List Category XII Rewrite: As part of the Administration's Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative, the U.S. Munitions List (USML) is being reviewed with a goal of moving less sensitive items off of the list so that they no longer fall under International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Many of the category reviews have been completed but category XII -- Fire Control, Range Finder, Optical, Guidance, and Control Equipment  -- is still under review and we expect to see the new proposed rules open for comment later this year. There will be a short 30-60 comment period when you will have an opportunity to provide input; don’t miss your chance to comment, contact Krisinda Plenkovich for more information. 


8 October: Push to Pass Short Term Funding Bill as Congress Returns: With the new fiscal year starting 1 October and with the expectation that the House will recess at the end of next week and the Senate by September 23 until after the election, the push is on to pass a short term appropriations bill to continue funding after September 30.  Congress has not sent a single FY 2015 appropriations bill to the White House. Read more


7 October: New Directors Names for NIST Physical Measurement & Engineering Labs: In September, NIST Acting Director Dr. Willie May announced his selection of Dr. James Olthoff to become the next Director of the NIST Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML), pending Department of Commerce approval. Pending Department of Commerce approval,  Dr. May also selected Dr. Howard Harary as the next Director of the NIST Engineering Laboratory.

3 October: Obama administration announces $200 million in public-private investment to create an integrated photonics manufacturing institute: Leaders of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), an alliance of top scientific societies uniting industry and academia to raise awareness of photonics, praised news that President Barack Obama unveiled a new competition to award more than $200 million in public and private investment to create an Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute. The announcement was formally made as part of the President and US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker's address at Millennium Steel in Princeton, Ind. in support of National Manufacturing Day. Read more


30 September: US Photonics Industry Leaders Commit upwards of $30 Million to support of the President's BRAIN Initiative: Leaders of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), an alliance of top scientific societies uniting industry and academia to raise awareness of photonics, launched its Photonics Industry Neuroscience Group alongside officials from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in conjunction with today's White House BRAIN Initiative conference. Members of the NPI industry group are committing to invest upwards of $30 million in existing and future research and development spending over the next three years to advance optics and photonics technology in support of the White House Brain Research through Advancing Imaging Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. Read the full press release + Read the White House fact sheet


17 September: NASA Breaks with the Past: Commercial Crew Transportation Contractors Announced:
".., with the selection of Boeing and SpaceX to be the first American companies to launch our astronauts to the International Space Station, NASA has set the stage for what promises to be the most ambitious and exciting chapter in the history of human space flight."  So wrote NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a September 16 posting on the agency’s website about the selection of two private contractors to transport American astronauts to the International Space Station by 2017. Read more

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy blog
-- latest posts:

  • The White House Education Games Jam
  • America's Leading Researchers, Scientists, and Technologists met to Discuss How to Answer One of Our Next Grand Challenges, the Human Brain
  • PCAST Examines Technology for Targeting Job-Skills Training and Matching Talent to Jobs
  • Promoting Open Education to Help Teachers and Students Around the World



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