From CASE Reports, Volume 13,3 (November 1998)


This fall, CASE joined with Connecticut Innovations, the University of Connecticut’s Photonics Research Center, and the Connecticut Photonics Industry Cluster to sponsor a two-day forum on Connecticut’s photonics industry. Held September 9 on the University of Connecticut’s Storrs campus, and September 10 at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, the forum featured presentations by representatives from industry, academia, and federal and state government.

Morning sessions on the first day were devoted to current research and development initiatives in the field of photonics, and included presentations on topics such as “Photonics for information Systems,” “Integrated Optics for Communication Systems,” “Microscopic Imaging and Image Processing for Biomedical Research,” and “High Power Lasers for Material Working. An afternoon session, entitled “Harnessing Science and Technology for Human Progress in the 21st Century: The Roles of Universities and of Federal-State Cooperation,” was arranged in cooperation with the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR) of the National Academy of Sciences. The panel discussion ranged from a historical overview of federal support for basic research to a discussion of the five technologies—computing, telecommunications, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and alternate energy—considered key to global economic transformation.

The second day of the forum focused on bringing research efforts to successful commercialization, and featured presentations by a number of Connecticut photonics companies. A morning panel session brought together representatives from Yale University, the University of Connecticut, and several major industries for a discussion of the evolving nature and definition of technology transfer; the successful strategies—and the pitfalls—of creating such programs; and the many factors driving the industrial and university communities to seek these collaborations in ever-growing numbers. The afternoon culminated with student awards and an exhibit highlighting research activities and economic initiatives by Connecticut universities, industries, and state and local government organizations. — Martha Sherman, Managing Editor.

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