This committee has since taken on the role of launching a National Photonics Initiative (NPI), as recommended by the report. In order to define the initiative, subcommittees representative of US industry and academia in the five major photonics dependent markets were formed.
- Communication, information processing & data storage
- Advanced manufacturing
- Defense and national security
- Health and medicine
The subcommittee mission is to address the following.
- Technological barriers (near/long term) and ways to address them
- Regulatory barriers to competitiveness and possible solutions
- How public and private investments can be coordinated and/or improved
- Workforce needs in the near and long term
These subcommittees will meet in person at the official NAS report launch event in Washington, D.C. next Thursday (Feb 28th) to finalize their recommendations to the launch committee. At that point, the recommendations will become an action plan to launch the NPI. Additionally, our report will be released to the community in hopes of aligning the US regions tied to photonics industries to national concerns.
In Europe, in preparation to the Horizons 2020 research funding program, Photonics 21 emerged out of interested industry to make recommendations that are tied to economic indicators. In a similar vein, the NPI subcommittees are largely industry driven so that a market “pull” perspective can be heard along with the research community’s technology “push” point of view.
Key members of the Obama Administration, US Congress, US funding agencies, as well as major industry players all want to be at the table already. Even in a tumultuous legislative environment, there is confidence this project will continue to gain traction.