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Latest Public Policy News

Public Policy Spotlight

U.S. Government Seeks Information On How to Control Emerging Technology
Quantum, AI, Navigation, and Biotechnology are among the listed technologies
19 November 2018

As of 19 November, the U.S. Department of Commerce will start accepting comments on how to control certain technologies for export. This request stems from the concern that some technologies, which are still considered emerging, have not been evaluated for their national security risk, and therefore are currently not controlled through regulation.

Many of these emerging technologies are critical to the optics and photonics community and any changes to their classification for export control could have a broad impact, so it is vital that the industry help shape these decisions.

The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM) released in the Federal Register for public inspection 16 November, lists the 14 technology areas that the U.S. government is evaluating, and requests comment on “criteria for defining and identifying emerging technologies.” The ANPRM also seeks assistance in identifying specific emerging technologies that are essential to the national security within these areas.  Read the SPIE news article to learn more.


Other Policy News

2018 Midterm Election Results: Outlook for Science Policy
The 2018 midterm election’s immediate effects on federal science policy will manifest primarily through changes in the composition of congressional committees, with the Democratic takeover of the House bringing new leadership to science policy and spending panels.
8 November 2018

The 2018 midterm elections mark a return to divided government in Washington, with Democrats securing control of the House for the first time since 2010. Meanwhile, Republicans will add up to three seats to their current one-seat majority in the Senate.

Among the election’s most immediate consequences for science policy will be the handover of House committee leadership positions to Democrats at the start of the 116th Congress, which begins Jan. 3. Although the parties’ leaders of key science policy and appropriations panels will likely not be determined until weeks into the new year, there are clear frontrunners for certain positions and some influential members are retiring or were defeated.  Read More

NSF Scaling Up STEM Diversity Efforts with INCLUDES Network
To address the persistent underrepresentation of women and minorities in STEM fields, the National Science Foundation has issued a set of major awards through its INCLUDES initiative to scale up promising strategies with a national network of projects.
2 November 2018

INCLUDES is entering a new phase. The National Science Foundation’s flagship initiative for increasing participation of underrepresented groups in STEM fields is aiming to establish a national network of programs that can scale up successful strategies for tackling longstanding workforce disparities. After funding dozens of pilot projects over the past two years, NSF recently issued six major awards to establish a set of partnership-based projects and a national “coordination hub” for the INCLUDES effort.  Read More

Quantum Technologies Flagship Kicks Off with First 20 Projects
The Quantum Technologies Flagship, a €1 billion initiative, was launched today at a high-level event in Vienna hosted by the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
18 October 2018

The Flagship will fund over 5,000 of Europe's leading quantum technologies researchers over the next ten years and aims to place Europe at the forefront of the second quantum revolution. Its long-term vision is to develop in Europe a so-called quantum web, where quantum computers, simulators and sensors are interconnected via quantum communication networks. This will help kick-starting a competitive European quantum industry making research results available as commercial applications and disruptive technologies. The Flagship will initially fund 20 projects with a total of €132 million via the Horizon 2020 programme, and from 2021 onwards it is expected to fund a further 130 projects. Its total budget is expected to reach €1 billion, providing funding for the entire quantum value chain in Europe, from basic research to industrialization, and bringing together researchers and the quantum technologies industry.  Read More

New U.S. Law Addresses Control of Emerging Technologies
Legislation could affect the future trade and growth of emerging photonic technologies.
11 October 2018

The current political and security climate has spurred interest in maintaining control of emerging technologies developed in the United States. How this is accomplished was a point of contention recently, as legislation titled the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) moved through the U.S. Congress and was passed into law.  Read More

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