WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2014--The Optical Society (OSA) applauds the inclusion of H.R. 2996, the bipartisan Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (RAMI), in the $1.1 trillion FY2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which passed the House on December 11 and subsequently passed the Senate this weekend, on December 13.
The Omnibus bill authorizes the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to establish several Centers for Manufacturing Innovation -- regional hubs operated by public-private partnerships to foster manufacturing innovation, speed product commercialization and close the gap between basic research and product development in the United States.
"These new Centers will greatly enhance innovation in manufacturing for multiple industries across the entire country," said OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan. "But they will also create many new high-paying jobs and spur local economies where they are located."
"Our bill is about ensuring America's future as a world leader in advanced manufacturing by fostering two things: innovation and jobs," said Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), a sponsor of the bill. "We are creating high-tech, high-paying manufacturing jobs not just for people today but for their children and for their children's children -- so that generations of Americans far into the future will have opportunities to create and innovate here at home."
About the RAMI Act and OSA's Involvement
The bipartisan RAMI Act was introduced in 2013 by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Reps. Reed and Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.). It first passed the House in September by voice vote. This legislation builds on the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, an initiative started by President Obama.
A draft of the Omnibus bill can be accessed at: http://rules.
OSA is one of 125 organizations that encouraged the passage of the legislation. OSA worked with Rep. Reed to include language in the bill naming optics and photonics as one of several technology focus areas to consider for a manufacturing center. OSA Members also participated in a Congressional briefing, Capitol Hill visits and a letter-writing campaign in support of the RAMI Act.
For more information on this and other OSA public policy issues, visit OSA's Washington Updates page.
Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and entrepreneurs who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. OSA is a founding partner of the National Photonics Initiative and the 2015 International Year of Light. For more information, visit http://www.