United States Congressional Optics & Photonics Caucus Launches

Speakers included co-chairs Representatives Morelle and Mast and Senator Daines, as well as leaders within the O&P community
26 February 2021

On 24 February 2021 at 12:00 pm ET, the Congressional Optics & Photonics Caucus officially launched with a virtual event highlighting the growing impact of optics and photonics.

The bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Optics & Photonics Caucus is led by cochairs Representatives Joe Morelle (D-NY) and Brian Mast (R-FL) and Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).

The Optics & Photonics Caucus will work to educate members of Congress and their staff about the importance of light-based research and technologies to the US economy, security, and scientific excellence. Advocating for federal investment, the Caucus will serve as a positive, proactive voice for the optics and photonics community within Congress, and as a bridge to the Administration.

Representatives Morelle and Mast and Senator Daines gave remarks and were joined by speakers Bruce Tromberg, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bio-engineering and head of the Rapid Scaling Up of COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing in the US; Adele Ratcliff Director of the Industrial Base Analysis & Sustainment Program (IBAS) Program of the US Department of Defense; and Professor Alexis Vogt of Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY. Following the presentations, Chair of the National Photonics Initiative Ed White joined the discussion for a live Q&A.

“Optics and photonics are critical drivers in much of our economy and impact our lives every day in ways unseen,” says SPIE CEO Kent Rochford. “It is crucial to have policymakers aware of these technologies and of the increasing possibilities they bring to our science and technology infrastructure. The Optics & Photonics Caucus is a much-needed voice to advocate on behalf of the growing optics and photonics industry in America.“

As co-leaders of the National Photonics Initiative, SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and The Optical Society have worked closely with Congress over the past year to establish this Caucus and are very excited about this new voice for the optics and photonics community. Together, the societies look forward to your participation and support.

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer O'Bryan, SPIE Government Affairs Director.

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