Industrial Laser Solutions has long been an advocate for US government recognition of this country’s manufacturing presence and importance, and acknowledgement that action, not necessarily funding, should be allocated to insure the industry’s ability to compete in world markets.
We, like many, abhor another commission assigned to "look into" this situation. President Obama, an outspoken champion of manufacturing as a national issue, spoke out on this subject when running for his first term. In his second term, he stepped up-to-the-plate, establishing the first of several "centers of excellence" – this one on Laser Additive Manufacturing. The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute was formed in August 2012 in Youngstown, OH. There are possibly more laser and non-laser centers to follow.
Peter Baker, Executive Director of the Laser Institute of America, with urging from his Board and society members, swung into action and created a committee of LIA members with like interests. The committee members wanted to advocate lasers as part of any action that would promote photonics in manufacturing in the US. Credit where credit is due – Baker and the committee, headed by Mark Taggert of Laser Mechanisms, rallied and within a very short (for a committee) time, developed a white paper to be disseminated intra-societies and with the government that sets out some ideas about lasers in manufacturing.
The following link http://www.lightourfuture.org/files/3713/6927/2709/ADVANCED_MANUFACTURING.pdf is offered for readers’ review. It is one of five parts of the National Photonics Initiative's white paper called "Lighting the Path to a Competitive, Secure Future." Hopefully, you will send this to your mailing lists of industrial and government contacts.
Congratulations to the LIA, Peter Baker, Mark Taggert, and all those who pitched in on short notice and got the job done.