The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently awarded $500,000 to the University of Rochester, New York, U.S.A., to help develop, in partnership with the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), a “national roadmap” for photonics in the United States.

Rochester’s Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences (CEIS) will lead the efforts in developing the National Technology Roadmap for Photonics. CEIS’ partners include the Rochester Institute of Technology's Center for Imaging Science and New York Photonics, an industry association. The team plans to assemble a committee made up of members of academia and industry that will guide the creation of a national consortium devoted to advanced manufacturing in photonics.

Upstate New York has long been a site for innovation in optics and photonics. The University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics was the first of its kind in the United States. Rochester is also the location of several key companies in the field, such as Kodak, Bausch + Lomb and Xerox.

The United States has been a global leader in developing photonics technologies, but the country only manufactures 10 percent of the photonics components sold worldwide. NPI was established to identify manufacturing challenges and predict new technologies to strengthen the United States’ competitiveness in this field.