US manufacturing initiative garners Congressional approval

The Optical Society (OSA) is applauding the inclusion of H.R. 2996, the bipartisan Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (RAMI), in the $1.1 trillion FY2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill.

Washington, DC - The Optical Society (OSA) is applauding 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, 2014, and subsequently passed the Senate 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 US. OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan notes that they will also create many new high-paying jobs and spur local economies where they are located.

The bipartisan RAMI Act was introduced in 2013 by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Reps. Reed and Joe Kennedy (D-Massachusetts). It first passed the House in September 2014 by voice vote. This legislation builds on the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, an initiative started by President Obama.

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, please visit www.osa.org.

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