The newly formed U.S. Congressional Optics and Photonics (O&P) Caucus will host a virtual public launch event on Wednesday, 24 February, 12:00pm EST. Co-chairs U.S. Representatives Joe Morelle (D-NY) and Brian Mast (R-FL) and Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) will be among the speakers.
The O&P Caucus seeks to educate members of the U.S. Congress and their staff about the importance of light-based research and technologies to the U.S. economy, security, health and scientific research. Such innovations are pivotal to the creation of high-quality jobs and addressing major threats such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The Caucus will also advocate for greater public and private investments and policies in this field.
The Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE played a key role in the establishment of the Caucus as co-founders of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), a broad-based collaborative alliance among industry, academia, and government to raise awareness of optics, photonics and quantum science and technology.
“The Congressional Optics and Photonics Caucus will do important work to promote light-based research and technologies that provide solutions to some of our greatest challenges in health, safety and security,” said Elizabeth Rogan, CEO, The Optical Society (OSA). “OSA and its global community are pleased to support the mission of this Caucus.”
NPI Chair Ed White will help moderate a discussion with the co-chairs about the science and technology of optics and photonics during the virtual event. NPI was instrumental in passage of the National Quantum Initiative (NQI) Act in 2018 which increased government funding for quantum research at U.S. federal agencies the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.
Registration for the virtual launch event is now open.
Supporting organizations for the U.S. Congressional Optics and Photonics Caucus include New York Photonics; Colorado Photonics Industry Association; Montana Photonics Industry Alliance; New Mexico Optics Industry Association; Mi-Light Cluster (Michigan Optics & Photonics Industry Association); Optics Valley Arizona; Florida Photonics Cluster; International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE); The Optical Society (OSA); National Photonics Initiative (NPI).