Photonics was the focal point at the University of Central Florida (UCF) on Wednesday when Rep. John L. Mica paid a visit to the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL).
“They are performing phenomenal research in our backyard,” Mica said. “The work going on at UCF holds tremendous potential for our workforce and will impact and touch nearly every aspect of our lives.”
Among the technologies on display were a laser used to break apart cancer particles and a cellphone that analyzes blood, allowing Mica to witness the inroads light-based technologies have made in the medical field, among others.
The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) launched this spring by a cadre of photonics organizations (See: Photonics Societies Launch National Initiative) seeks to unite experts from industry, academia and the government to advance photonics R&D, to grow the US economy, and to improve national security. A key part of the effort is to educate members of congress on the vital role photonics plays in homeland security and the US economy.
“Central Florida is a prime example of how the NPI’s goals can be realized through education, research and public-private partnerships,” said Peter Baker, executive director of the Laser Institute of America. “Greater investment in key photonics-driven fields will create jobs, grow our economy, and protect and improve lives.”