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DoD’s Adele Ratcliff: Photonics is Focus of New Public-Private Manufacturing Collaboration

research and development RDThe U.S. Defense Department will launch a new program that aims to establish a photonics manufacturing technology center through a partnership between the government and industry, DoD News reported Wednesday.

Cheryl Pellerin writes the Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation will be built using up to $220 million in federal and private-sector funds.

The center would be the fourth DoD-led IMI since the public-private initiative began in August 2012.

“Our strategy is for all these institutes to be of great value to not only the Department of Defense, but to other federal agencies, industry and the nation as a whole,” said Adele Ratcliff, a DoD director for manufacturing technology, according to the report.

“It’s critically important that we maintain our technological advantage within the U.S. industrial base and these institutes help us maintain that competitiveness in important technology areas, such as integrated photonics,” Andre Gudger, acting director of manufacturing and industrial base policy at DoD, told the publication.

DoD plans to begin accepting photonics IMI proposals from consortia of companies, universities and nonprofit organizations next month and could unveil the winning team in early summer.

The department believes the technology could pave the way for improved networks, embedded computing architecture, medical diagnostics and visibility through dust clouds.

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