Back in November 2014, the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), an alliance of top scientific societies uniting industry and academia to raise awareness of photonics, applauded the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) issued by the US Department of Defense (DOD), through the Air Force Research Laboratory, calling for concept papers for the establishment of an Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IP-IMI). This will be the sixth institute under Obama’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) with the DOD investing $110 million, matched by $110 million or more in investment from industry, academia and/or state and local government to the winning proposal.
Now, the NPI is applauding three consortium finalists led by University of Central Florida, University of Southern California, and the Research Foundation for the State University of New York selected by the DOD to submit full proposals to secure the IP-IMI. The IP-IMI will advance the state-of-the-art in the design, manufacture, testing, assembly, and packaging of complex photonic integrated circuits that combine a variety of photonic and electronic components to achieve functionality. The NPI is not endorsing a specific IP-IMI proposal but is strongly committed to supporting the DOD's ultimate selection.
In response to the DOD's announcement, NPI Steering Committee Chairman Tom Baer said, "The three finalists are excellent choices for the new Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation, and I applaud the Department of Defense for its fair and thorough selection process. The announcement today recognizes the critical role that photonics plays in US competitiveness and national security, and demonstrates the administration's commitment to maintaining the US as the world leader for transitioning photonics research to commercial markets. On behalf of the NPI, I am pleased to pledge our full support to DOD and its ultimate selection for the long-term success of the IP-IMI and look forward to working with the winner to encourage further photonics collaboration between industry, academia and government."
Integrated photonics circuits incorporate multiple miniature optical structures to manipulate and control beams of light, in the same way that integrated electronic circuits control electrons, in order to encode, transmit and decode information. A major goal for the IP-IMI will be to develop low-cost, high volume, manufacturing methods to interface electronic integrated circuits with integrated photonic devices.
Pursuant to DOD's FOA, the finalists are now invited to submit full proposals due no later than 3:00PM ET on March 31, 2015.
The NPI 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.
SOURCE: NPI: http://www.lightourfuture.org