optics report 8-13-2012
WASHINGTON -- Calling optics and photonics technologies critical to the future of
the nation, the National Research Council Monday (Aug. 13) recommended a series
of aggressive, coordinated initiatives to improve manufacturing,
invention, materials development and applications to maintain global
leadership in the area.
The report--"Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our
"--was issued by the National Research Council 15 years after
its seminal optics report: "Harnessing Light: Optical Science and
Engineering for the 21st Century."
The report and its recommendations come amid growing concern that the U.S.
has fallen behind in photonics and optics technology
development in the past decade.
"...It is critical that the United States take advantage of these
emerging optical technologies for creating new industries and
generating job growth," the report's authors wrote.
The report can be downloaded here
Among the report's recommendations, based on five grand questions
with which committee members wrestled:
- Advanced Manufacturing: The report acknowledges the importance
of photonics and optics manufacturing capabilities: "While there
are issues concerning the ability of the United States to
compete successfully in high-volume, low-cost manufacturing, it
is likely that the United States can continue to be a strong
competitor in lower-volume, high-end manufacturing." The report recommends the development of new manufacturing
technology and implementation, such as soft x-rays for lithography
and other optically-based manufacturing.