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PO Box 20001
Rochester, NY 14602
Press Release
Industry Support Drive Underway
Rochester, New York
-- Seven major optics organizations and companies have pledged
financial support and announced plans to form an optics and electro-optics standards council to set
priorities and funding strategies for standards.
Included in this group are the following organizations: APOMA (American Precision Optics
Manufacturers Association); Eastman Kodak Company, LEOS (Lasers and Electro-Optics Society);
LEOMA (Lasers and Electro-Optics Manufacturers' Association); NAPM (National Association of
Photographic Manufacturers); OSA (Optical Society of America); and SPIE (The International
Society for Optical Engineering). Each organization has pledged $5,000 annually for the next two
years, and has committed staff and volunteer support. APOMA President George R Platt, Texas
Instruments, will serve as chair pro tem for the group.
The new standards council will immediately begin an effort to raise industry support to
maintain current levels of standards activities and will begin to recruit more corporate members for
the council.
"The goal of the organizing effort is to establish an effective industry-based standards
development and support structure within the U.S.," according to Platt. Some: key items to address
are financial and volunteer support for participation in international standards-activities,
identification of standards needs for emerging technologies, and user education related to U.S. and
international standards work.
Much of the basic standards work in U.S. optics/electro-optics was done under the auspices of
the Department of Defense, which for several years has been pressing industry to convert to ANSI
and other private developers.
According to APOMA/COM Director Harvey Pollicove, "The optics industry has developed a
comfort level with DoD's mil specs and must now learn to stand on its own. Many of these
documents, especially the basic 'scratch and dig standards', are overdue for examination and would
not withstand a thorough consensus review in their present form."
"Standards are absolutely essential to sustained growth in any industry," notes LEOMA's Breck
Hitz, who chairs the ISO Laser Committee. "If the United States fails to participate in the creation
of international optics standards during the next decade, that failure will have an extremely
detrimental impact on our entire optics industry. The Optics and Electro-Optics Standards Council
will provide an effective mechanism for U.S. participation in international optics standards."
The council held it first organizational meetings in October in conjunction with the OSA
Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas, and in November in conjunction with SPIE's Photonics East
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APOMA's Center for Optics Manufacturing (COM) has agreed to serve as
administrator for the council.