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

Exciting new nanotechnology-based medicines are now in clinical trials, which may be available soon to treat patients. Some use nanoparticles to deliver toxic anti-cancer drugs targeted directly to tumors, minimizing drug damage to other parts of the body. Others help medical imaging tools, like MRIs and CAT scans, work better and more safely. Nanotechnology is helping scientists make our homes, cars, and businesses more energy-efficient through new fuel cells, batteries, and solar panels. It is also helping to find ways to purify drinking water and to detect and clean up environmental waste and damage.

Nanomaterials are being tested for use in food packaging to greatly improve shelf life and safety. Nanosensors to detect food-borne pathogens are also being developed for food packaging. New nanomaterials will be stronger, lighter, and more durable than the materials we use today in buildings, bridges, automobiles, and more. Scientists have experimented with nanomaterials that bend light in unique ways that may enable the development of an “invisibility cloak.” The possibilities seem limitless, and the future of nanotechnology holds great potential. For more information, see Benefits and Applications.

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