Monday, November 12, 2012

OIDA: OIDA submitted a response in October to NIST regarding the proposed National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI)

OIDA submitted a response in October to NIST regarding the proposedNational Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).
OIDA suggested the formation of a Photonics Institute as one of 15 institutes of the NNMI. Foundries for photonic integration would form the “center of gravity” of the institute. The foundries would include both silicon photonics and InP-based devices. Each technology requires substantial process development to bring them to full commercial-grade production, therefore creating a real-world challenge to be solved. The barrier to entry for such commercial-grade process development is high, in terms of both time and money. A concentrated effort is therefore necessary if the U.S. government wants to establish domestic capability in this technology.
The Photonics Institute would also create a program in manufacturing workforce training that would span from management to technicians. It would leverage existing resources, but establish some new programs to fill gaps that exist today.
The Obama Administration announced the plan in March, proposing $1 billion for the 15 institutes. In August, the government announced a first, pilot institute, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, based in Ohio.
OIDA’s document is not a formal proposal. NIST’s recent solicitation was not a request for proposals, but for ideas about how the NNMI would be structured. If the NNMI goes forward, a more formal proposal process would follow. Meanwhile, OIDA will continue to develop the case for U.S. government support in this and other proposed programs.
For more information, please contact Tom Hausken.

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