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BISO Events Calendar

Events of US National
Committees and
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U.S. Advisory Committee to ICO

The National Academy of Sciences is the U.S. adhering body of the International Commission for Optics (ICO) and it maintains its relationship with the commission through the U.S. Advisory Committee (USAC)/ICO. ICO is an Affiliated Commission of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) and part of the International Council for Science (ICSU) that contributes to the progress and diffusion of knowledge in the field of optics.

International Day of Light Approved by UNESCO
Due to the great success of the International Year of Light 2015, UNESCO has approved an International Day of Light (IDL) to be celebrated every year on May 16.  The purpose of IDL is to “provide an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of the central role that light plays in the lives of the citizens of the world in areas of science, culture, education, sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications andD energy.”  See for more information. 
Members of the USAC-ICO have been very active in the IDL initiative.  SPIE, for example, is sponsoring an International Day of Light Photo Contest to “raise awareness about IDL and the vital role that light and light-based technologies play in daily life.”   There are no age restrictions, and both amateur and professional photographers are eligible to participate. Entries will be accepted starting May 15. Visit for information on how to enter and upload images. Winners will be announced October 30, 2017.

USAC/ICO Meeting at SPIE Photonics West
The U.S. Advisory Committee for the ICO met on January 30, 2017 at SPIE Photonics West.  For information about the meeting, please contact the BISO office. 
SPIE Photonics West Held January 28-February 2, 2017
SPIE Photonics West was held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA, USA, January 28 through February 2, 2017.   Photonics West is the major laser, photonics, biomedical optics conference: 20,000 attendees, six renowned symposia, and 4,800 R&D presentations covering a wide range of papers on biomedical optics, biophotonics, translational research, industrial lasers, 3D printing, optoelectronics, microfabrication, and more. SPIE Photonics West also has two of the most important laser (Photonics West) and biomedical optics (BiOS Expo) exhibitions in the industry with more than1,250 exhibiting companies and a variety of new product. Photonics West includes the entire spectrum of light-driven technologies and attracts researchers, companies, and product developers from around the world.  For complete conference details, visit the SPIE Photonics West page and SPIE Photonics Europe page.
2017 Winter College on Optics to Focus on Advanced Optical Techniques for Bio-imaging
The 2017 Winter College on Optics will focus on microscopy, spectroscopy, and other advanced optical techniques for biomaging in life and environmental sciences.  The Winter College will be held at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, on February 13-24, 2017, following a preparatory school February 6-10. The USAC-ICO is sponsoring a U.S. graduate student at the Winter College.
As described on ICTP’s webpage, “The College will address fundamental and experimental aspects of advanced Microscopy, Spectroscopy and related techniques. The scope of the course is to promote new theoretical and experimental methods, concepts, instruments, measurement techniques and data analysis routines for both Laboratory and industrial applications to train students and scientists, as well as to coordinate international activities and collaborations in this area. By focusing on both theory and applications, the College will also provide an interesting intersection of emerging techniques and experimental methods with theoretical advances in the field. The lectures will focus on a variety of topics related to biological applications, environmental research and material characterization. Hands-on sessions will be organized every day of the college in the ICTP laboratories accompanied by library documentation finalized with round-table discussion.”
The Winter College is sponsored by the ICO, SPIE, the Optical Society (OSA), the European Optical Society (EOS), Società Italiana di Ottica e Fotonica (SIOF), and the International Society on Optics Within Life Sciences (OWLS).  For more information, see 2017 ICTP Winter College on Optics
ICO-24 to be held in Japan in 2017
The 24th Congress and General Assembly of the ICO will be held August 21-25, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan.  Papers are currently being accepted and the submission deadline in March 3.  Plenary speakers will include Hiroshi Amano (Nagoya University, Japan), Chris Dainty (University College, London, England), Anne L’Huillier (Lund University, Sweden), and Takaaki Kajita (University of Tokyo, Japan).  Major topics to be discussed at ICO-24 include:
1. Optical Design, Optical Materials, and Photo Lithography
2. Vision, Color, Display and Lighting
3. Optical Metrology
4. Optical Imaging and Optical Information Processing
5. Advanced Microscopy and Spectroscopy
6. Biomedical Optics/Photonics
7. Nonlinear Optics
8. Ultrafast Phenomena and Ultrafast Optics
9. High Power Lasers and Applications
10. X-ray and High-energy Optics
11. Microwave/Millimeterwave/THz Photonics
12. Near Field Optics, Plasmonics, and Metamaterials
13. Photonic Crystal, Nano Structures and Functions
14. Optoelectronics and Photonic Devices
15. Optical MEMS and Micro-optics
16. Quantum Optics and Atom Optics
17. Fiber Optics
18. Optical Communications and Photonic Network

ICO-23: General Congress of the International Commission for Optics
The International Commission for Optics held its triennial General Congress in Santiago de Compostela, Spain from August 26-29, 2014. This congress is ICO's most important scientific and technical meeting. The U.S. Delegation to the General Congress included H. Philip Stahl (chair), Duncan T. Moore, James Harrington, Erich Ippen, and Joseph J. Niemela. Reports from ICO members, international societies, and the ICO Bureau were received and discussed. In addition, the ICO/ICTP initiative for Central America, the Winter College on Optics and Photonics at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), and ICO co-sponsorship and endorsement of various international conferences and schools were reviewed. Further information on all of these are all contained in Towards ICO-23.

The U.S. was also pleased that Jim Harrington was reelected as ICO Treasurer, and that Joseph Niemela, a U.S. physicist currently working at ICTP, was elected Vice President. Duncan Moore will serve as Past President for the next three years.

International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015)
In recognizing 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015), the United Nations recognized the importance of raising global awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture, and health. In the United States, SPIE and the Optical Society of America (OSA), two of the sponsoring societies of the USAC-ICO, played a major role in organizing and coordinating U.S. participation in IYL. Information can be found on the SPIE and OSA webpages.

The final report on IYL 2015 was released in October 2016. It highlights the many successes of the year, including 13,168 events in 147 countries. A companion UNESCO report, Inspired by the Light: Reflections from the International Year of Light 2015, was published by SPIE. 

Light Our Future: The National Photonics Initiative
The U.S. Advisory Committee for Optics, through its participating societies, continues to support the National Photonics Initiative, which grew out of the NRC report, Harnessing Light II, Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation, released in 2013. The committee was instrumental in the early stages of the report, writing a white paper which outlined the need to update the original Harnessing Light report (1998). The white paper eventually served as the basis for the study.
Harnessing Light II provides a current assessment of optics, photonics, and optical engineering in the United States, prioritizes research grand-challenge questions to fill technological gaps, and recommends actions to support global leadership in photonics-driven industry. The report, conducted by the NRC Board on Manufacturing and Engineering Design, recommended that the federal government develop a "National Photonics Initiative" to bring together academia, industry, and government to steer federal research and development funding and activities.
Following one of the report's key recommendations, SPIE and four other photonics and optics societies launched the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), a collaborative alliance among industry, academia and government. The NPI effort is being led by founding sponsors SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and The Optical Society (OSA), and sponsored by three additional societies -- the American Physical Society (APS), the IEEE Photonics Society, and the Laser Institute of America (LIA). As noted on the NPI website, the goals of the Initiative are to: • raise awareness of photonics and the impact of photonics in our everyday lives • increase cooperation and coordination among US industry, government and academia to advance photonics-driven fields • drive US funding and investment in areas of photonics critical to maintaining US economic competitiveness and national security.

Activities and Events
Resource Links
ICO Webpage
Contact the USAC/ICO

Kathie Bailey, Director
Pam Gamble, Administrative Associate

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number PHY-1441995. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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