Edmund Optics Inc. of Barrington, N.J., has received $2.8 million in US Department of Defense ManTech funding to develop manufacturing tools to produce conformal and advanced optical elements such as aspheres. The project is geared to advances in precision glass molding technology. The initial objective is to create cost-effective tooling methods for low- and mid-volume lens production. The scope will be expanded over the next two or three years to include new methods to reduce the assembly time of high-precision night-vision, fire control and other complex optical systems.In conjunction with the US Army’s Benet Weapons Laboratory of Watervliet, N.Y., the company will manage the project at the Edmund Optics Advanced Optics Manufacturing Facility in Pennsburg, Pa. Design engineering and assembly technologies will be developed at its New Jersey headquarters and at its design center in Tucson, ArizPI (Physik Instrumente) LP of Auburn, Mass., has announced the third annual PI NanoInnovation Grant, a program to support research related to nano-technology, optics and biotechnology. The program will award funding in the form of PI nanopositioning equipment and technologies of the winning applicant’s choice. For 2006, the equipment award will be $25,000, with distributions starting within the year.Application is open to graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the US and Canada who are pursuing projects that are enabled by the company’s equipment. The deadline for proposals is March 31, and the award announcement is scheduled for June 30. For more information, visit www.pi-usa.us/nanoinnovat.htm.