Optics and Photonics, Essential Technologies for Our Nation

On November 30 I attended a presentation held on the UNM South Campus regarding the status and future of the Optics and Photonics industry.  It is vital to many cutting edge technologies, and continuing advances are key to our national security.  It also has long had a significant presence in New Mexico.

The NMOptics Website summarizes the talks:

The National Research Council of the National Academies recently produced a report on the future of the optics industry entitled, Optics and Photonics, Essential Technologies for our Nation. The New Mexico Optics Industry Association (nmOptics) and UNM Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM) co-sponsored the Co-chair of the Report Committee, Dr Paul McManamon, who gave an overview presentation on Friday November 30 at UNM. In addition, SPIE sponsored Steve Anderson, Former Editor of Laser Focus World and a photonics industry expert, who presented the economic impact of the Report on the photonics industry.   Dr Michael Dougher, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and John Garcia, Secretary for Economic Development for the City of Albuquerque, spoke on the impact of the Report and the high technology industry for Albuquerque’s future.

The Web Site with the Optics and Photonics Report and other resources is here: www.opticsandphotonics.org

In Doctor McManamon’s presentation, he announced a coordination meeting for the proposed National Photonics Initiative on 28 Feb 2013 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC.  As major corporate research labs (e.g. Bell Labs, Xerox PARC, GE Labs) have been closed or reduced in funding, the Initiative may include a Research Consortium to advance the technology.  Major corporations crucially dependent on Optics and Photonics may prefer to fund the Consortium, rather than build their own labs.

See information about the Center for High Technology Materials (one of the presentation’s sponsors) at: http://www.chtm.unm.edu/

For more information about the New Mexico Optics Industry Association (also a member of the “JT8” group of New Mexico’s leading Technology Associations), visit: http://nmoptics.org/