SPIE and OSA applaud National Academy Optics and Photonics report (Harnessing Light 2)

Bellingham, WA and Washington, DC--Both SPIE and the Optical Society (OSA) are applauding the findings in a new optics and photonics industry report from the NAS.

Bellingham, WA and Washington, DC--Both SPIE and the Optical Society (OSA) are applauding the findings and recommendations in a new optics and photonics industry report from the NAS.

SPIE leaders commended the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on Harnessing Light report entitled "Optics and Photonics, Essential Technologies for our Nation"--referred to as "Harnessing Light 2.0" as it is officially the follow-up report to the original 1998 Harnessing Light report--as a powerful lens through which to focus progress during what has become known as "the century of the photon."

SPIE said that the report noted how the economic impact of optics and photonics is hard to measure because of its role as an enabling technology in multidisciplinary applications with electronics, chemistry, and other fields. Conservative estimates start at more than $500 billion in revenues and 1.5 million jobs in the U.S. that are directly related to or enabled by optics and photonics technologies. This includes numerous applications of lasers, computer chips, solar-energy panels, sensors, displays, and other technologies, in manufacturing, medicine, defense and security systems, lighting, bridge and highway structural analysis, and much more.

The report committee's two co-chairs, SPIE Fellows Alan Willner of the University of Southern California and Paul McManamon of the University of Dayton and Exciting Technologies, will give a presentation on the report this Wednesday 15 August at SPIE Optics and Photonics in San Diego. Following the presentation, SPIE will post slides along with links to the digital report and a summary at www.opticsandphotonics.org.

OSA applauded the release of the report, which identifies the technological and economic opportunities the science has enabled, assesses trends in market needs, gives examples if where progress in photonics innovation has translated into economic benefits, and makes recommendations for future research and policies that are intended to advance the optics and photonics discipline.

"Optics is everywhere--from internet cables and computer chips, to solar panels and LED lighting and displays, to life-saving medical imaging devices and tools for advanced manufacturing. It solves problems, enables technological innovation and improves lives," said OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan. "This report lays out a specific vision for how optics and photonics technologies drive innovation and economic growth in areas as diverse as defense, biotechnology, communications, and manufacturing. OSA applauds the committee for their thorough work and forward-looking recommendations in this landmark study."

"This report will serve as a vital tool in making the case for sustained investments in and adoption of optical science and technology worldwide, as it provides specific illustrations of the technological and economic value of optics and photonics in a variety of sectors," said OSA Public Policy Committee Chair Gregory Quarles of B.E. Meyers & Company. "For example, the report notes that $4.9 billion worth of laser sales enabled $7.5 trillion of the U.S. gross domestic product in 2009 and 2010. These types of statistics reinforce the true worth of optics and photonics technology."

On August 21 at 1 p.m. EDT, OSA, in conjunction with Stanford University, will be hosting a free webcast to discuss the report and celebrate its release; see https://osa.peachnewmedia.com/store/seminar/seminar.php?seminar=13357 to view the webcast.

SOURCE: SPIE; http://spie.org/x89074.xml and OSA; www.osa.org/About_Osa/Newsroom/News_Releases/Releases/08.2012/OSA-Commends-National-Academy-of-Sciences-Report.aspx

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