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SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing to unite photonics industry and business

07 Mar 2024

Three-day program in Washington DC to focus on funding, technology needs, and engagement with government agencies.

A program focused on building industry and government partnerships to advance technological and engineering innovations in optics and photonics is set to be a highlight of next month’s SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing (“DCS”).

The full conference runs 21-25 April in National Harbor, Maryland. The industry-and-government-focused program, featuring multiple high-profile speakers as well as several panel discussions, will run 23-25 April, as part of the 250-plus company exhibition.

The three-day program leverages an increasingly photonics-aware US Government and will highlight specific ways that the optics and photonics industry and the government can partner productively in order to enhance technological advancements in many critical and emerging application areas.

Speakers and panelists will address topics such as funding opportunities; optimal ways to access government agencies’ support; current technological and engineering requirements; and supporting and building an innovative and technologically skilled workforce.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Director of the Joint Directed Energy Transition Office Mark F. Spencer on an overview of his office which funds basic research, applied research, and advanced technology development in optics and photonics with academic, industry, and government partners.
  • The National Science Foundation’s Director of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Vincent Lee on “Accelerating Research to Impact.”
  • ARPA-E’s Associate Director of Technology and Program Director Jenifer Shafer on “Opportunities for Innovative Sensing and Imaging Technologies at ARPA-E”; and
  • NASA Industry Engagement Lead and Senior Technical Advisor Alexandra Hale on “Embracing the Aerospace Community Through Strategic Engagement.”

Panel discussions

DCS Panel discussion topics will cover “Commercial Technology Transfer/Integration to Government,” “Directed Energy: Industrial Base Readiness to Support Directed Energy Programs of Record,” and “Keeping National Security AI Trustworthy.”

Featured panelists and speakers include: Exciting Technology’s Paul McManamon; NDIA Emerging Technologies Institute’s Wilson Miles; the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Robert B. Meltzer; Matthew Turek, of DARPA’s Information Innovation Office; Office of Army Prize Competitions and Army Applied SBIR Program’s Matthew Willis; the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering’s Frank E. Peterkin; L3Harris Technologies’ Teresa Pace; Element Aero’s Sandra Biedron; and Leonardo’s Robert Walker.

“Recent funding and policy decisions have shown that the US Government is becoming acutely aware of the critical and enabling qualities of optics and photonics technologies,” says SPIE Director of Science and Technology Bob Hainsey.

“With SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing located so close to Washington DC, it’s an opportunity to bring the industry and key stakeholders together to ensure that both the optics and photonics industry and the US Government are positioned to take advantage of each other’s strengths and ongoing programs. This year’s industry program will play a key role in providing a venue for these discussions to take place.”

Access to the exhibition and industry program is free, though registration is required. More information — including registration — can be found on the SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing website.

TRIOPTICS GmbHHÜBNER PhotonicsCeNing Optics Co LtdIridian Spectral TechnologiesChangchun Jiu Tian  Optoelectric Co.,Ltd.Optikos Corporation Mad City Labs, Inc.
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