Collaborations & Funding

Opportunities for collaboration and mechanisms for funding facilitate the discovery and deployment of nanotechnology to serve the public good. Among these are strategic programs, partnerships, and initiatives—through both the public and private sectors—that exist to assist scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs to advance the field of nanotechnology and its commercialization.

Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives

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

Frequently Asked Questions for Business

A list of Frequently Asked Questions specific to small-medium businesses and industry.

Federal Funding and Infrastructure

The Federal Government supports and fosters the growth of nanotechnology for the benefit of society and the nation.

Business Development

A variety of regional, state, and commercial activities and collaborations are in place to support the United States nanotechnology industry.


Learn About Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology: Big Things from a Tiny World brochure coverNano and Energy brochure cover

These NNI brochures introduce basic concepts in nanotechnolgy.  Big Things from a Tiny World (left) is a general overview; Powerful Things from a Tiny World (right) looks at nanotechnology and energy. These brochures are also available in Spanish.

Nanotechnology Fact

Nanoscale materials have been used for over a millenium. For example, nanoscale gold was used in stained glass in Medieval Europe and nanotubes were found in blades of swords made in Damascus. However, ten centuries passed before high-powered microscopes were invented, allowing us to see things at the nanoscale and begin working with materials at the nanoscale.

Nanotechnology as we now know it began about 30 years ago, when our tools to image and measure extended into the nanoscale. Around the turn of the millennium, government research managers in the United States and other countries observed that physicists, biologists, chemists, electrical engineers, optical engineers, and materials scientists were working on overlapping issues emerging at the nanoscale. In 2000, the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) was created to help these researchers benefit from each other’s insights and accelerate the technology’s development.

To learn more, see What is Nanotechnology?