Nine photonics projects have garnered awards totaling more than $20 million under the US Department of Commerce's Advanced Technology Program. Awarded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md., the cooperative agreements help foster potentially marketable technologies that otherwise might not ever emerge from the lab.The projects cover several applications of photonics in fields such as medicine and biology, manufacturing, data storage, biometrics and telecommunications. The winning companies and projects include:Corning Intellisense Corp. of Wilmington, Mass., $2 million to develop digital control and interfacing schemes to improve the precision of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) used in optical networks. General Electric Co. of Niskayuna, N.Y., $3.5 million to engineer a laser-based process for fabrication and repair of complex sheet-metal, tubular and ductlike parts. The company won an additional $2.8 million to create a scalable process for growing large arrays of aligned nano-structures for applications in medical imaging, fluorescent lamps and flat panel displays. Genex Technologies Inc. of Kensington, Md., $2 million to develop facial recognition technology that captures, stores and matches three-dimensional data. InPhase Technologies Inc. of Longmont, Colo., $2 million to create rewritable recording materials that can be used up to 1000 times in holographic data storage systems. Luxtera Inc. of Pasadena, Calif., $2 million to design and fabricate nanophotonic circuits integrated on semiconductor wafers using standard semiconductor processing equipment. Optomec Inc. of Albuquerque, N.M., $2 million to advance laser-based technology for depositing titanium alloy powders to form complex, three-dimensional parts, such as medical implants. SiWave Inc. of Arcadia, Calif., $2 million to develop a high-capacity optical MEMS switch with 256 input/output ports assembled through passive self-alignment. Xradia Inc. of Concord, Calif., $2 million to develop a prototype camera based on a comparatively simple achromatic lens design that would benefit extreme-UV semiconductor lithography and inspection tools.