Photonics News Update: New Congressional Photonics Caucus
In the ever-changing tide of the post-COVID economy, the Photonics industry has seen major waves of both positive and negative effects. While there was an early halt in most production environments, many industrial and commercial businesses have reported rallying sales numbers in the last quarter. This was due in part to the loss in meetings and events that have helped promote business networking and project coordination in the past. It was with a heavy heart that we all watched as many events such as the SPIE Photonics and Optics show were canceled after more than 50 years of success. Then, as soon as we had started preparing for life after the Coronavirus, along came some amazing insights and ideas. Trade shows went online and we all learned how to connect, coordinate, and work through virtual meetings. Moving sales online and increased digital marketing, allowed us to renew our connections to customers and other businesses. We now are able to celebrate the innovation and resilience of these businesses as they bounce back.
Yet, even in the wake of corporate achievement in Q2, we also hear a much bleaker story being told by our federal and academic partners. Many research and governmental labs have experienced drying up funding and a severe lack of staff and resources which has ground many projects to a stop. Recent major losses in governmental funding to both the physics and biomedical industries weigh heavily on laser and optics production and sales. These publicly-funded labs are responsible for amazing progress in essential applications like spectroscopy, velocimetry, ablation, and medical innovations and must continue to be supported.