Archive for the ‘R&D Policy’ category

Consortiums Compete for Establishment of Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation

November 21, 2014

Funding Opportunity Announced

Through a Funding Opportunity Announcement  (FOA) made on Nov. 6, the U.S. Department of Defense is calling for concept papers for the establishment of an Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IP-IMI).

The IP-IMI will be the largest federal investment to date under the Obama administration’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) at $110M. The IP-NMI does not include optics, optical systems or optical manufacturing. It does not include lasers at the manufacturing scale, optical materials or new systems for manufacturing critical DoD optical components. It is narrowly focused upon “domestic integrated photonics chip fabrication foundry access, integrated design tools, automated packaging, assembly and test, and workforce development.”

The FOA was made through the Air Force Research Laboratory, following President Barack Obama’s announcement of his administration’s intent to form the IP-IMI, the sixth such institute under the NNMI. The FOA reaffirms that commitment, with DoD investing $110 million, intended to be somehow matched or exceeded in investment  from industry, academia and/or state and local government through the winning proposal.

Read the White House fact sheet here.

A proposer’s day has been scheduled for Nov. 19  in Arlington, Va.

Proposers day, Artisphere Spectrum Theater, Arlington, VA

Proposers day, Artisphere Spectrum Theater, Arlington, Va.

New York Proposals

A National Institute for Manufacturing and Innovation in Photonics has been one of the main goals of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI).  Numerous lobbying efforts and a national fly-in have supported the NPI.   Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY 25) has been an enthusiastic advocate for a photonics institute led and located in Rochester, N.Y.

In Rochester, an NMI effort led by the University of Rochester has been under way for two years. The university has been working with key stakeholders across the U.S. to form a consortium to partner on an application. It is rumored that The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at SUNY Albany (CNSE) is also working on an application.  Sources at the University of Rochester say that they have been engaged in brokered discussions with CNSE.

Other New York research interests might include names like Cornell University, RIT, Columbia University, Clarkson, University at Buffalo and others.  Industrial partners may include such names as Corning, GE, IBM, Global Foundries and Sematech.

Applications are due on Dec. 19.

Read the DoD Announcement here.

Recent New York Efforts

The last NMI award announcement was for an institute for power electronics.

CNSE led a consortium that applied for the Power Electronics NMI in late 2013. That Institute was awarded to a consortium based in North Carolina.  Undeterred, Gov. Andrew Cuomo later announced a New York State Power Electronics Institute under the CNSE umbrella, promising to create 500 jobs. The announcement was made in the same building where CNSE announced its Department of Energy Photovoltaics Consortium on July 17, 2013,  promising to create 100 jobs.

The competition for leadership in Optics, Photonics and Imaging seems to be paying off for New York State.

Congresswoman Slaughter’s Letter to Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Andre J. Gudger

October 1, 2014

Yesterday, September 30, 2014, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter wrote a letter to André Gudger, Acting Deputy Assistance Secretary of Defense in the DoD Office of Manufacturing & Industrial Base Policy (MIBP). MIBP’s Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) program will stand up two manufacturing innovation institutes that play a critical role in the Obama Administration’s national manufacturing agenda.  (NNMI)

IMG_7856Slaughter’s letter supports the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster and New York Photonics efforts to establish Rochester in a leadership position for a Manufacturing Institute in Optics, Photonics and Imaging.

The letter is here:

SlaughterLetterGudger

Congresswoman Slaughter was the keynote speaker at the New York Photonics annual meeting on September 3rd.  The panel discussion documented New York State efforts to establish a National Center for Optics, Photonics and Imaging technologies.

Photos from the Annual Meeting are here.

 

New York Photonics Annual Meeting

September 2, 2014

Thursday, September 4, 2014
3:30PM – 6:30PM
Rochester Museum & Science Center
Registration begins at 3:00PM

The registration landing page is here

 

Louise

Opening remarks by
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter
Representative New York’s 25th District 

Speakers and Panelists

  • Kevin Füchsel, Head of Department Strategy – Marketing – Coordination, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering
  • Steve Anderson, Industry and Market Strategist for SPIE; former Editor-In-Chief, Laser Focus World
  • Susan Christopherson, Professor and Department Chair, Cornell University Department of City and Regional Planning
  • Paul Ballentine, Executive Director, Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences University of Rochester

Panel moderator: Ryne Rafaelle, PhD, Vice President for Research & Associate Provost, Rochester Institute of Technology

America’s Optics, Photonics, Imaging Innovation Culture:
Is a National Institute in New York’s Future?
The National Academies report, Optics & Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation; the National Photonics Initiative.  The Obama administration and the Department of Defense are looking to establish national manufacturing institutes for technologies that are key to America’s future. Successful global Optics and Photonics manufacturing institutes such as Fraunhofer in Germany have existed for years. Can New York help America catch up?

Panel Discussion: Innovation and Commercialization Institutes.  Do they work?  Is a U.S. institute in Optics and Photonics important to national security?  Is it important to New York?

Audience:    RRPC members, CEO’s and management;  economic development stakeholders; high technology entrepreneurs and service professionals; investment professionals, CPA’s, attorneys,
economic & workforce development professionals.

Agenda:
3:00 – 3:30    Sign-in
3:30 – 4:00    Introductory remarks
4:00 – 5:30    Panel Discussion and audience interaction
5:30 – 6:30    Networking / refreshments

NIST observes that Rochester, New York is bursting with energy, photonic energy

July 1, 2014

20140701-134204.jpg

Rochester, New York is bursting with energy, photonic energy! The New York (NYSTAR) MEP Center, aka High Tech Rochester, is a key player in the revitalizing this industry, along with various economic and business development entities in the Rochester region.

To strengthen and grow this industry the Rochester region has received three grants; the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator, (AMJIAC) the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia Program (AMTECH), and the Investing in
Manufacturing Communities designation (IMCP). They are also gearing up to apply for a more significant and larger scale program, the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, in order to further grow the optics and photonics industry.

Read more here…

Photonics Technology Makes the Cut on New Request For Information

June 4, 2014

“If China shuts off the flow of glass, the United States will be out of drones in six months.”
– CEO of a critical components contractor to the DoD

It was anticipated and heavily lobbied for.  Does it look like anyone expected?

On Monday, June 2nd, the Department of the Air Force, through Air Force Material Command (Wright Patterson) issued a request for information (RFI) seeking input from Industry and Academia as part of an effort to select and scope the technology focus areas for future Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation (IMIs).

The NNMI program was announced by president Obama in 2012.  Unable to budget the money to fund the hallmark manufacturing initiative, the administration has turned to various DOD and government agencies to fund NMI’s on its behalf.  This is the first from Air Force Material Command.

Responses are due by July 14th.

Technology areas of focus:

  • Flexible Hybrid Electronics
  • Photonics
  • Engineered Nanomaterials
  • Fiber and Textiles
  • Electronic Packaging and Reliability
  • Aerospace Composites

Many of us are elated that photonics made the cut.  Hundreds of hours of work, lobbying and thousands of dollars in travel have resulted in Photonics being on the short list for this NMI.  What is not clear is if the White House and the DoD recognize the critical role that optics, photonics and imaging technologies play to our national security.  Interpretations will vary.

From the RFI:

The term “photonics” refers specifically to technologies for generating, transmitting, modulating, filtering, processing, switching, amplifying, attenuating and detecting light.  Photonics technologies encompass significant commercial industries and solutions for DoD unique applications.  The diverse photonics industry has a number of manufacturing approaches where a public-private investment could rapidly accelerate the technology availability from TRL 4 to TRL 6/7 and enable a sustainable industry for commercial and DoD needs.  A photonics IMI would address industrial base issues for photonics materials, such as infrared materials, nonlinear materials, low-dimensional materials, and engineered materials which are critical to our Nation’s photonics ecosystem (production, DoD, research, etc….).  A Photonics IMI could be structured to allow improvements in the cross-cutting disciplines of design, packaging, reliability and test to be applied across multiple technology topic areas leveraging common manufacturing approaches.  Preference could be given to technology topic areas that are in late stage research and development, that may require some design/foundry efforts, but the bulk of the efforts are in the packaging, reliability and test disciplines, increasing the probability that the technology will mature and transition to DoD weapon systems and/or commercial platforms in 3-5 years and enabling the institute to be self-sustaining in the 5-7 year timeframe.

Although much research and development on photonics has been done in the U.S., it has been primarily carried out by large corporations developing and using proprietary processes for application-driven designs.  Little coordination and cooperation has existed between companies.  As a result, U.S.-based photonics research and development is faced with several disadvantages:

    1. There is no common or generic component library or fabrication process.  There are almost as many technologies as photonics companies.
    2. For most potential new applications, the market is too small for payback of investments without cooperative development. 

Photonic technologies are commonly used in the high speed transmission of signals in telecommunications and high-performance information-processing systems.  In addition photonics technologies are used in high-performance information-processing systems and computing.  Finally photonic technologies are commonly used in sensors and imagers.

A lot of players around the country will be very busy crafting their responses in the next month.

 

Spectacular History of Light and Optics at Cosmos

April 22, 2014
“The age and size of the Cosmos are written in light. The nature of beauty; the substance of the stars; the laws of space and time – they were there all along, but we never saw them until we devised a more powerful way of seeing. The story of this awakening has many beginnings and no ending.”  

So begins the fifth episode of this season’s Cosmos, with host, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

This is a great episode to watch and share with your entire family and your entire school.  Interesting historical and scientific background about optics and photonics, well told.

Summary here:
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-cosmos-recap-20140404,0,259862.story#axzz2zddzxXmk

THE ENTIRE EPISODE IS HERE:
http://www.cosmosontv.com/watch/215791683929

Research and industry leaders urge Congressional support for photonics

April 22, 2014

SPIE.org : About SPIE : Research and industry leaders urge Congressional support for photonics.

Volunteers from industry and research labs across the USA visited Congressional offices today to urge support for key issues related to photonics technologies and R&D, on behalf of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI). Supported by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and other NPI founders and sponsors, the 36 volunteers from photonics were among a total of nearly 200 volunteers participating in this year’s Science-Engineering-Technology Working Group (SETWG) Congressional Visits Day.