Regional, State, and Local Initiatives in Nanotechnology Workshop Report (2009)

Subject Area:
NNI Workshop Reports
Author: Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology Subcommittee; Committee on Technology, National Science and Technology Council
Publication Date: Apr. 1 2009

Description:

This report on Regional, State, and Local (RSL) Initiatives in Nanotechnology is the result of a topical workshop convened 1–3 April 2009 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, by the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Technology.

The goal of the Workshop on RSL Initiatives in Nanotechnology was to improve the outcomes of nanotechnology research, education, and business activities undertaken by U.S. organizations working to advance nanotechnology, such as small and large businesses, universities, research and education foundations, industry groups, and nongovernmental organizations. The strategy for reaching this goal is to exploit synergies between the various initiatives, promote sharing of information and resources, and develop ongoing mechanisms for relevant interactions.

The specific objectives of the workshop were to:
■ Exchange information and stimulate collaboration between the workshop participants
■ Explore mechanisms to better link the NNI and regional, state, and local initiatives
■ Explore the roles of Federal, regional, state, and local entities in nanotechnology transfer, education and training, and economic development
■ Identify common goals and objectives among the initiatives
■ Identify paths forward to enhance the effectiveness of the initiatives through collaboration, information
exchange, and resource sharing


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.

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