Congressional Optics & Photonics Caucus 

Kickoff Meeting

The MPIA was excited to take part of the Congressional Optics & Photonics Caucus Initial Meeting held on Wednesday, February 24 at 10 (mst).  It was great to hear the excitement, energy, and the passion to promote and advance optics and photonics.  If you didn’t get a chance to attend virtually, please take a moment to watch the video – Link.  It is worth your time.  

The MPIA Board of Directors asked a question and Senator Steve Daines spoke highly of his commitment to this caucus and the momentum in Montana.  The industry experts are impressive and seem very aware of the greatness in this field and the areas of opportunity.  It is clear Bozeman is on the map with Rochester, CREOL, and Phoenix.  In fact, Joe Morelle, the New York Committee Chair stated, “Montana is a hot bed of innovation for photonics.”

The MPIA is looking forward to seeing how the caucus advances and how we can take part in reaching the outlined goals.  Below is a list of the Caucus Committee, Industry Experts, the Goals of the Optics & Photonics Caucus. 

Committee:

Joe Morelle – New York Committee Chair

Steve Daines – Rep. Montana

Brian Mast – Rep. Florida Co-Chair

Krysten Sinema – Arizona

Industry Experts:
Ed White: Chairman of the National Photonics Initiative and PIC expert

Dr. Adele Ratcliff: Director of Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment at the Defense Office of Industrial Policy

Dr. Bruce Tromberg: Director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Engineering at the National Institute of Health

Alexis Vogt, Ph.D.: Monroe Community College program chair and professor of optical systems technology

Published Goals of the Optics & Photonics Caucus are:

  • To promote and advance the use of light-based technologies through public and private investments and secure the United States’ status as a global leader in innovation.
  • To break down the siloed knowledge surrounding this robust industry, educating lawmakers, workers, and students of all this industry has to offer and setting future generations up succeed.
  • The O&P Caucus will work to educate members of Congress and their staffs about the importance of light-based research and technologies to the United States’ economy, security, and scientific development.
  • It will also advocate for federal investment in this innovative and exciting space. The O&P Caucus will serve as a positive, proactive voice for the optics and photonics community within Congress and as a bridge to the Administration.

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