Industry Collaborations


Public-Private Partnerships

National Cancer Institute: Translation of Nanotechnology in Cancer

The NCI has initiated a public-private industry partnership called Translation of Nanotechnology in Cancer (TONIC) to accelerate the translation and development of nanotechnology solutions for the early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. The TONIC consortium, made up of government entities, and pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and other healthcare-related companies, will work in parallel to the Alliance. The consortium seeks to evaluate promising nanotechnology platforms and facilitate their successful translation from academic research to the clinic, resulting in safe, timely, effective, and novel diagnosis and treatment options for patients.

By encouraging mutual collaborations between Alliance investigators and industry partners on both pre-competitive and late-stage programs, TONIC stands to promote the qualification, development, and regulatory acceptance of nanotechnologies in cancer.

USDA Forest Service & Forest Products Industry's Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance

The USDA Forest Service is working in partnership with the Forest Products Industry‘s Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance (A2020) and universities to advance a common vision and agenda focused on developing the precompetitive science and technology critical to the commercialization and economic use of cellulosic nanomaterials for new generations of products. The universities are Georgia Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, Oregon State University, Penn State University, Purdue University, University of Maine–Orono, and University of Tennessee–Knoxville. Establishing an industry-government-university informal partnership provides a way to synergistically combine the marketing and focused-reduction-to-practice skills inherent in industry with the public-interest-based, national-problem-solving capacities of government, and the world-class research capabilities of universities.

National Science Foundation: GOALI, I/UCRC, & PFI

NSF contributes to several translational innovation programs, including GOALI (Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry), I/UCRC (Industry & University Cooperative Research Centers), Innovation Corps program, and an umbrella program, PFI (Partnerships for Innovation), which includes two complementary subprograms: AIR (Accelerating Innovation Research) and BIC (Building Innovation Capacity). NSF also continues its support of technology transfer in nanotechnology through core programs, primarily through investments in centers such as NSECs, NCN, Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSECs), Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI), and others. NSF’s Innovation Corps Program was initiated in 2012 with the objective of developing and nurturing a national innovation ecosystem that builds upon fundamental research to guide the output of scientific discoveries closer to the development of technologies, products, and processes that benefit society.

Trade Associations & NGOs

National Council for Advanced Manufacturing

NACFAM is a non-partisan, non-lobbying action/think tank that brokers intense collaboration among its stakeholders from manufacturers (small, medium and large), education, research entities, government, trade and professional associations, and individuals to develop policy recommendations to accelerate manufacturing innovation and build a more globally competitive U.S. manufacturing sector. NACFAM also does projects to improve the bottom line and sustainability of manufacturing organizations.

NanoBusiness Commercialization Association

The NanoBusiness Commercialization Association (NanoBCA) is a 501(c)(6) trade organization dedicated to promoting the commercialization of nanotechnology and helping companies bring affordable, life-improving nanotech products to the market.

Federal Resources and Activities

NILI Working Group

One of the primary drivers behind NNI collaborations with industry is the Nanomanufacturing, Industry Liaison, & Innovation (NILI) Working Group. NILI is a Working Group of the NSET Subcommittee, the guiding body for the NNI. It coordinates many activities to promote U.S. leadership in creating products and manufacturing processes at the nanoscale.

NILI creates mechanisms to facilitate nanotechnology innovation and to improve technology transfer to industry. The working group promotes the exchange of information among Federal agencies, academia, and state, regional, and local organizations. Within the Federal Government, this effort includes interagency cooperation in the areas of standards, nomenclature, nanomanufacturing research and use of programs that encourage innovation in small business. Industry liaison groups—partnerships between the NNI and industry sectors—are a key tool in this undertaking.

NILI Survey: Mechanisms for Interaction with Industry and States

The NILI Working Group compiled data on Mechanisms for Collaborations with Industry. This database is organized by agency, and details the programs and activities that each agency offers to support nanotechnology development, technology transfer, and the advancement of nanomanufacturing. For detailed information on agency activities, view the survey here.

NILI Workshops: Regional, State, and Local (RSL) Initiatives in Nanotechnology

After its founding, the NILI Working Group spearheaded the NNI's efforts in outreach to regional, state, and local programs. The NILI Working Group convened the organizing committees of the 2009 and 2012 RSL workshops. Primary themes in these workshops included assessing the current landscape of U.S. RSL nanotechnology initiatives and their health; detailing Federal resources available to  RSLs; discussing RSL best practices, business models, and opportunities for partnering; and examining the role of nanotechnology RSLs in future U.S. economic growth and job creation.

See also Funding Opportunities Business Development