- Nanotechnology 101
- Nanotechnology and You
- About the NNI
- What is the NNI?
- Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenges
- Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives
- The NSET Subcommittee
- NSET's Participating Federal Partners
- Working Groups & Coordinators
- Contact Information
- National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO)
- Resources & Funding
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (USDA/FS)
Established in 1905, the Forest Service manages 193 million acres of publically-owned National Forests and grasslands. It has three major subunits: the National Forest System; State and Private Forestry; and Research and Development (R&D). Its R&D mission is to develop and deliver knowledge and innovative technology to improve the health and use of the Nation’s forests and rangelands.
FY 2016 Proposed $4.5 million
Nanotechnology offers an efficient and effective means to capitalize on a major national asset to make forest-derived materials the “materials of choice for the 21st century.” Wood is made up of nanodimensional building blocks that: (1) have strength properties greater than Kevlar® and piezoelectric properties equivalent to quartz, (2) can be manipulated to produce photonic structures, (3) are remarkably uniform in size and shape, (4) possess self-assembly properties, and (5) can be renewably produced in quantities of tens of millions of tons.
FS R&D is developing internal nanotechnology research capacities to effectively partner with industry, academia, and other federal entities and developing the precompetitive science and technology critical to the economic use of nanotechnology-enabled, forest-based materials and products. Current FS R&D focus areas are to: 1) efficiently liberate and produce quantities of cellulose nanocrystals and nanofibrils for research and scale up; 2) characterize cellulose nanomaterials; 3) develop the means to efficiently modify the functionality of cellulose nanomaterial surfaces; 4) develop the enabling science and technologies needed to capture the performance properties of cellulosic nanomaterials and produce nano-enabled macroscale composites; and 5) develop multiscale modeling for nano-enable composites.
The U.S. forest products industry, through the American Forest & Paper Association Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance, signed a memorandum of understanding with the NSET Subcommittee to form a Cooperative Board for Advancing Nanotechnology (CBAN). The industry is in a unique position to tap the huge potential nanotechnology provides. The industry can upgrade its processes and produce new high-performance consumer products, and become a producer and developer of novel, sustainable nanomaterials to replace non sustainable materials such as those from fossil fuels.
Dr. World Nieh, National Program Leader, Forest Products and Utilization, USDA Forest Service
Dr. Theodore H. Wegner, Assistant Director, USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
Office: (608) 231-9434
Forest Service Research & Development Programs
The cumulative NNI investment since fiscal year 2001, including the 2017 request, now totals more than $23 billion. In addition, more than $1 billion has been invested cumulatively since 2004 in funding for nanotechnology-based small businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs of the participating Federal agencies. Nanotechnology-related environmental, health, and safety (EHS, or nanoEHS) activities have become a hallmark of the NNI, with R&D, policy, and regulation in this area extensively coordinated among Federal agencies. NanoEHS activities, including relevant topics incorporated into the Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives (NSIs), account for approximately 10% of the NNI budget request from 2015-2017. Cumulative NNI EHS investments from 2006 through 2015 have now reached more than $1 billion. For more information, visit the NNI Budget page.
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