NNI Supplement to the President's 2013 Budget

Subject Area:
NNI Budget
Author: NNI/NSET
Publication Date: Feb. 16 2012


The President’s 2013 Budget provides nearly $1.8 billion for the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), a sustained investment in support of the President’s priorities and innovation strategy. Cumulatively totaling almost $18 billion since the inception of the NNI in 2001 (including the 2013 request), this support reflects nanotechnology’s potential to significantly improve our fundamental understanding and control of matter at the nanoscale and to translate that knowledge into solutions for critical national issues. NNI research efforts are guided by two strategic documents developed by the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), the 2011 NNI Strategic Plan (nano.gov/node/581) and the 2011 NNI Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Strategy (nano.gov/node/681).

This document is a supplement to the President’s 2013 Budget Request submitted to Congress on February 13, 2012. It gives a description of the activities underway in 2011 and 2012 and planned for 2013 by the Federal Government agencies participating in the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), primarily from a programmatic and budgetary perspective. It is based on the NNI Strategic Plan released in February 2011 and reports actual investments for 2011, estimated investments for 2012, and requested investments for 2013 by Program Component Area (PCA), as called for under the provisions of the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-153, 15 USC §7501). The report also addresses the requirement for Department of Defense reporting on its nanotechnology investments, per 10 USC §2358.

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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