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.

Acronyms

A list of nanotechnology- and NNI-related acronyms.

Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenges

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 Signature Initiatives

Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives (NSIs) are areas identified as ripe for significant advances through close and targeted program-level interagency collaboration.


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Nanotechnology Fact

Although federally-funded R&D yields hard-to-quantify benefits such as students educated, degrees conferred, companies started, patents and copyrights granted, developmental partnerships formed, and private sector investment inflows, there are many indicators of the impact of this ­­­­­investment.

For example, there are over 1,900 U.S.-based companies conducting R&D, manufacturing, or product sales in nanotechnology in 2016. Of these companies engaged in the nanotechnology sector, over 36% have participated in the Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer programs funded by the Federal agencies that participate in the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The most recent Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS) conducted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) found approximately 1,500 companies engaged in nanotechnology with approximately 1,100 of these classified as small businesses (less than 500 employees). The difference in the number of companies cited above can be attributed to the year the data was collected and other methodologies.

A noteworthy impact of the NNI has been the focused investment by NNI-participating agencies in the establishment and development of multidisciplinary research and education centers devoted to nanoscience and nanotechnology. NNI agencies have developed an extensive infrastructure of nearly 100 major interdisciplinary research and education centers and user facilities across the United States. This cutting-edge fabrication and characterization equipment provides state-of-the-art nanoscience tools and expertise for research by non-profit or business organizations, whether small or large, for use-inspired research and some of the user facilities are available free-of-charge for non-proprietary work if the user intends to publish the research results in the scientific literature.

In December 2015, Lux Research estimated that nanotechnology-enabled products generated $1.6 trillion in global revenues in 2014; and that figure is anticipated to increase to $3.5 trillion in 2018.