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National Photonics Initiative applauds Senate for passage of the 21st Century Cures Act

Bill provides $4.8 billion for initiatives including cancer and brain research

07 December 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Photonics Initiative (NPI), an alliance of top scientific societies uniting industry and academia to raise awareness of photonics, today commended the U.S. Senate for passage of H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act — a bill that will provides $1.8 billion, including $1 billion over the next three years, to support Vice President Biden's Cancer Moonshot and $1.5 billion in support of the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.

In response to Senate passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, Alan Willner, chairman of the NPI Steering Committee, issued the following statement:

“On behalf of the National Photonics Initiative, I applaud the U.S. Senate for passing the 21st Century Cures Act and I thank Congress for prioritizing legislation to fund the translation of groundbreaking research into much needed therapies that will improve the health and well-being of our nation. Optics and photonics — the science and application of light — plays a key role in enhancing our ability to observe and measure symptoms, as well as our capability to treat patients earlier with less invasive, more cost-effective methods. Through the establishment of the Photonics Industry Neuroscience Group and our Cancer Moonshot Taskforce, the NPI has had the pleasure of collaborating with the administration to advance live-saving cancer and brain research through technological solutions. We thank the administration for their commitment to the missions of the Cancer Moonshot and BRAIN Initiative, and we commend Congress for their bipartisan support of this powerful legislation that will spur innovation to advance our understanding of the human brain and our ability to combat cancer.”

In September 2014, the National Photonics Initiative launched the Photonics Industry Neuroscience Group — comprised of top U.S. industry leaders in optics and photonics — which committed upwards of $30 million in existing and future research and development spending over the following three years to advance optics and photonics technology in support of the BRAIN Initiative. In June 2016, the National Photonics Initiative organized a consortium of scientific communities, leading members of medical technology industry, over 350 hospitals, and major patient advocacy groups to leverage the more than $3 billion annual private investments in cancer research toward early detection technologies of the most aggressive cancers. Industry commitments to both the BRAIN Initiative and Cancer Moonshot were detailed in white papers and technology roadmaps available here.

### About the NPI: The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) is a collaborative alliance among industry, academia and government to raise awareness of photonics and the impact of photonics on our everyday lives; increase cooperation and coordination among US industry, government and academia to advance photonics-driven fields; and drive US funding and investment in areas of photonics critical to maintaining US economic competitiveness and national security. The initiative is being led by top scientific societies including the American Physical Society (APS), the IEEE Photonics Society, the Laser Institute of America (LIA), The Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. For more information visit www.lightourfuture.org.

Emily Pappas
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