About the NNI

Welcome to the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) website. The NNI is a U.S. Government research and development (R&D) initiative involving 20 departments and independent agencies working together toward the shared vision of "a future in which the ability to understand and control matter at the nanoscale leads to a revolution in technology and industry that benefits society." The NNI brings together the expertise needed to advance this broad and complex field—creating a framework for shared goals, priorities, and strategies that helps each participating Federal agency leverage the resources of all participating agencies. With the support of the NNI, nanotechnology R&D is taking place in academic, government, and industry laboratories across the United States.



What is the NNI?

The NNI is a U.S. Government research and development (R&D) initiative involving the nanotechnology-related activities of 20 Federal department and agency units.

The NSET Subcommittee

The NSET Subcommittee is the interagency body responsible for coordination of the National Nanotechnology Initiative.

NSET's Participating Federal Partners

Details on the agencies participating in the NSET Subcommittee.

Working Groups & Coordinators

The NSET Subcommittee created four Working Groups to enhance coordination and collaboration among NNI agencies.

National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO)

The NNCO provides staff support to the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee.

Contact Information

Names, titles, and contact information for NNCO staff.


A list of nanotechnology- and NNI-related acronyms.

Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenges

Grand challenges are an element of the President’s Strategy for American Innovation that help catalyze breakthroughs needed to advance national priorities. A nanotechnology-inspired grand challenge is an ambitious but achievable goal that harnesses nanoscience, nanotechnology, and innovation to solve important national or global problems and has the potential to capture the public’s imagination.

Nanotechnology Fact

A nanometer is one billionth of a meter. (A meter is 39.37 inches, or slightly longer than one yard.) The prefix “nano” means “one billionth”, or 10-9, in the international system for units of weights and measure. The abbreviation for nanometer is "nm."

For visual examples of the size of the nanoscale, see The Size of Nano.