- Nanotechnology 101
- Nanotechnology and You
- About the NNI
- What is the NNI?
- The NSET Subcommittee
- NSET's Participating Federal Partners
- Working Groups
- National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO)
- Contact Information
- Collaborations and Funding
- Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives
- Federal Funding & Infrastructure
- Business Development
- Publications and Resources
The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) coordinates Federal nanotechnology research and development. Established in fiscal year 2001, the NNI is the central point of communication, cooperation and collaboration for all 25 Federal agencies engaged in nanotechnology research. It 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.
How it Started
The beginnings of the NNI can be traced back to September 1998, when the Interagency Working Group on Nanotechnology was formed. The NNI was initially launched by President Bill Clinton. The NNI has grown from an original eight agencies up to 25 participating agencies.
The importance of a coordinated Federal program for nanotechnology R&D was further recognized by Congress, who passed legislation creating the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) that President George W. Bush signed into law, in 2003 (21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act).
Funding for nanotechnology research and development continues to enjoy wide bi-partisan support in Congress. The U. S. House of Representatives has passed a bill reauthorizing the NNI. A similar bill is pending in the Senate. The 25 NNI agencies work together to build "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."
How it is Organized
The NNI is managed within the framework of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), the Cabinet-level council through which the President coordinates science, space, and technology policies across the Federal Government. The Nanoscale Science Engineering and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the NSTC coordinates planning, budgeting, program implementation and review to ensure a balanced and comprehensive initiative. The NSET Subcommittee is composed of representatives from agencies participating in the NNI.
See our Acronyms page for a list of the above mentioned offices.
The NSET Subcommittee has four working groups which concentrate on areas that the subcommittee recognizes will benefit from focused interagency attention and activity. They include the Global Issues in Nanotechnology (GIN) Working Group, the Nanotechnology Environmental Health and Safety (NEHI) Working Group, the Nanomanufacturing, Innovation, and Industry Liaison (NILI) Working Group, and the Nanotechnology Public Engagement and Communications (NPEC) Working Group.
To support the interagency coordination activities of the NSET Subcommittee, the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) was established in 2001. The NNCO provides technical and administrative support to the NSET Subcommittee, serves as a central point of contact for Federal nanotechnology R&D activities, and provides public outreach on behalf of the National Nanotechnology Initiative.
The NNI Budget
Thirteen of the participating agencies have R&D budgets that relate to nanotechnology, and the reported NNI budget represents the collective sum of these.
The NNI itself does not fund research. The individual agencies propose funding levels consistent with their missions and goals. The NNI informs and influences the Federal budget and planning processes through its member agencies. For more information on research conducted under NNI funding, see the NNI Budget Supplement Report and the NNI Strategic Plan.