The National Research Council of the National Academies has released its highly anticipated new report, «Optics and Photonics, Essential Technologies for Our Nation,» which updates its 1998 «Harnessing Light» study. The report assesses the current state 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.