Wednesday, November 4, 2009

OSA Press Release: Photonics Included in List of Industries Targeted to Receive New Small Business Grants

OSA thanks Rep. Kosmas for efforts to add photonics industry to House bill

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30—The U.S. House of Representatives accepted an amendment yesterday by Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-Fla.) that would add photonics technology to the list of targeted industries eligible to receive federal grants under a new early-stage investment program.

The Kosmas amendment was accepted to H.R. 3854, the Small Business Financing and Investment Act of 2009. The legislation aims at improving the Small Business Administration’s programs that provide entrepreneurs with access to capital.

H.R. 3854 also establishes the Small Business Early Stage Investment (SBESI) Program, which is a public/private partnership grant program to channel investment capital to emerging companies. Rep. Kosmas authored an amendment, which was adopted by voice vote to add the photonics technology industry to the list of targeted industries qualified to receive grants under this new early-stage investment program. Under the SBESI program, the Small Business Administration will provide matching grant funding to act as a co-investment in highly qualified investment companies that will focus on investing in small businesses, with particular emphasis on investing in early-stage small businesses in targeted capital-intensive industries. The bill will now be considered by the Senate before being sent to the President for signature.

“OSA is thrilled to see Congress recognize the importance of investing in small businesses that focus on photonics technologies,” said Elizabeth A. Rogan, CEO of the Optical Society (OSA). “OSA thanks Congresswoman Kosmas for her efforts to include photonics in this legislation. The state of Florida has a strong photonics industry and many companies there and across the country have the potential to benefit from the Congresswoman’s work.”

Photonics is a specialized field of physics and engineering, based on the science of light. From fiber optics and lasers used in telecommunications to medical imaging and detection to aid cancer research, optics and photonics are critical technologies that are prevalent in almost every aspect of day-to-day life.

About OSAUniting more than 106,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit

Angela Stark
The Optical Society202.416.1443

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