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SPIE Volunteers Urge Congress to Boost Jobs, Economy through Photonics Support
Date:3/25/2013

9;s competiveness and innovation edge. We were able to have very productive discussions emphasizing the urgency for a National Photonics Initiative."

Ben Franta, a student at Harvard University, called the event “an eye-opening experience. In the same way that being a scientist or engineer is very different from what most other people imagine it to be, our government operates in a way that's different from what we might expect by watching or reading the news.”

Franta said the CVD program was “a valuable opportunity to engage with our lawmakers in a way that can lead to real results. To me, the fact that SPIE makes such great use of this opportunity -- both to communicate with Congress and to educate students like me -- shows a forward-looking approach to promoting technologies in optics and photonics in this country and throughout the world." (Read more first-hand observations in an interview with Franta on the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences website: https://www.seas.harvard.edu/news-events/press-releases/capitol-gains.)

An evening reception provided an informal opportunity for CVD participants to talk with Congressional members and staff, and included an exhibition in which company representatives demonstrated products based on discoveries and innovations resulting from federal R&D funding. SPIE co-sponsored a booth highlighting the recent National Academies report, “Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation,” and raising awareness of efforts to create the NPI.

At the reception, the SET George E. Brown Award was presented to Representatives
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