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

Nanotechnology is used in many commercial products and processes, for example, nanomaterials are used to manufacture lightweight, strong materials for applications such as boat hulls, sporting equipment, and automotive parts. Nanomaterials are also used in sunscreens and cosmetics.

Nanostructured products are used to produce space-saving insulators which are useful when size and weight is at a premium—for example, when insulating long pipelines in remote places, or trying to reduce heat loss from an old house. Nanostructured catalysts make chemical manufacturing processes more efficient, by saving energy and reducing waste.

In healthcare, nanoceramics are used in some dental implants or to fill holes in diseased bones, because their mechanical and chemical properties can be “tuned” to attract bone cells from the surrounding tissue to make new bone. Some pharmaceutical products have been reformulated with nanosized particles to improve their absorption and make them easier to administer. Opticians apply nanocoatings to eyeglasses to make them easier to keep clean and harder to scratch and nanoenabled coatings are used on fabrics to make clothing stain-resistant and easy to care for.

Almost all high-performance electronic devices manufactured in the past decade use some nanomaterials. Nanotechnology helps build new transistor structures and interconnects for the fastest, most advanced computing chips.

All told, nanotechnologies are estimated to have impacted $251 billion across the global economy in 2009. This is estimated to grow to $2.4 trillion by 2015 (Lux Research, 2010).

For more information, see Benefits and Applications.