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Photonics groups awarded $1M for manufacturing

Two initiatives dedicated to expanding the use of photonics in U.S. manufacturing have received grants totaling more than $1 million from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The Consortium for Integrated Photonic Systems Manufacturing, a project of the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative, received a $539,990 NIST grant to address hardware and technology challenges that limit the advance of integrated photonic system manufacturing.

A grant of $498,430 went to the University of Rochester’s New York Photonics Manufacturing Initiative to help it develop regional and national technology road maps for the photonics industry. The project will lay the groundwork for a national institute dedicated to advancing photonics-based manufacturing technologies. University of Rochester scientists plan to work closely with the National Photonics Initiative to achieve these goals.

“We are pleased to see two funded awards related to photonics,” said Elizabeth Rogan, CEO of The Optical Society. “The University of Rochester is developing industry road maps and seeking to establish a national photonics-based manufacturing institute, while a team from the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative is addressing hardware challenges of integrated photonics manufacturing.”

In all, 19 advanced manufacturing technology planning grants totaling $9 million went to consortia dedicated to strengthening U.S. manufacturing and innovation. The grants are awarded to universities and other nonprofit organizations by NIST’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) Program. Project collaborations span a wide variety of industries and technologies, from flexible-electronics manufacturing to pulp-and-paper manufacturing. The awards range from $378,928 to $539,990 for a period of up to two years.

“The AMTech awards provide incentives for partnerships to tackle the important jobs of planning, setting strategic manufacturing technology goals and developing a shared vision of how to work collaboratively to get there,” said Patrick Gallagher, director of NIST. “These are essential first steps toward building the research infrastructure necessary to sustain a healthy, innovative advanced manufacturing sector – one that invents, demonstrates, prototypes and produces here, in the U.S.”

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