MRO Magazine

OSA Members Visit Capitol Hill to Emphasize Importance of Sustained U.S. Federal Investments in Science, Engineering and Technology


March 18, 2015
By Business Wire News

WASHINGTON

Members of The Optical Society (OSA) joined their colleagues from the National Photonics Initiative (NPI) on Capitol Hill today to speak with lawmakers and their staff about science policy issues, federal investments in research and development (R&D) and proposed funding levels in the upcoming fiscal year 2016 appropriations bills. These visits help educate legislators about the impact of scientific discovery on the economy and innovation.

“Sharing examples of scientific innovations illustrate the positive impact of federal investment in science, engineering and technology,” said Elizabeth Rogan, CEO, The Optical Society. “These meetings help Hill staff and lawmakers connect with the constituents who benefit from government investment in R&D and show scientists and engineers how they can inform policy decisions.”

OSA members joined more than fifty meetings with scientists, engineers and graduate students as part of the annual Congressional Visits Day (CVD), sponsored by the Science-Engineering-Technology Working Group. The meetings with lawmakers and staff included discussion of the importance of federal investment in research and development (R&D) and support for strong funding in the fiscal year 2016 appropriations bills and technology programs at agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the Department of Defense, and President Obama’s BRAIN initiative.

Members of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI),which is a collaborative alliance among industry, academia and government seeking to raise awareness of photonics – the application of light- explained the importance of federal investment in five key photonics-driven fields critical to U.S. competitiveness and national security: advanced manufacturing, communications and information technology, defense and national security, energy, and health and medicine. The group also focused on the importance of providing funding for the Department of Commerce’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). Members shared personal anecdotes, current research projects, and drew attention to the relationship between federal R&D funding and job creation at their local institutions.

About The Optical Society

Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and entrepreneurs who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. OSA is a founding partner of the National Photonics Initiative and the 2015 International Year of Light. For more information, visit www.osa.org.

About Congressional Visits Day

The CVD is a two-day annual event that brings scientists, engineers, researchers, educators, and technology executives to Washington to raise visibility and support for science, engineering, and technology. Uniquely multi-sector and multi-disciplinary, the CVD is coordinated by coalitions of companies, professional societies and educational institutions and it is open to all who believe that science and technology comprise the cornerstone of our Nation’s future.

The Optical Society
Rebecca B. Andersen, +1 202-416-1443
randersen@osa.org
or
Melanie Salemno, +1 202-416-1947
msalemno@osa.org