15-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE NATIONAL NANOTECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE


WHAT IS THE NATIONAL NANOTECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE?

On December 3, 2003, the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act authorizing the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) was signed into law.  The NNI is a U.S. Government research and development (R&D) initiative that consists of the individual and cooperative nanotechnology-related activities of Federal agencies with a range of research and regulatory roles and responsibilities that currently involves 20 departments and independent agencies. These Federal agencies work collectively toward four primary goals: 1) advance a world-class nanotechnology research and development program; 2) foster the transfer of new technologies into products for commercial and public benefit; 3) develop and sustain educational resources, a skilled workforce, and a dynamic infrastructure and toolset to advance nanotechnology; and 4) support responsible development of nanotechnology.

Over the past 15 years, the NNI has continuously evolved and adapted based on national and agency priorities, the needs of the community, and guidance from its two advisory bodies, the National Academies and the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).  While the impacts of NNI research and development efforts are already seen in areas as diverse as consumer electronics, medicine, transportation and infrastructure, water purification, energy, aerospace, apparel and textiles, sporting goods, and agriculture and food safety, researchers continue to create new knowledge and make discoveries that will impact applications into the future.
 

CELEBRATING 15 YEARS OF PROGRESS IN NANOTECHNOLOGY AND IDENTIFYING FUTURE DIRECTIONS

To celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the NNI, the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office will be rolling out a number of activities to showcase the discoveries enabled by this collaborative effort and the significant impacts these discoveries are having on society. This celebration will also look at what lies ahead and how previous and ongoing nanotechnology research under the NNI forms the foundation for future developments that benefit society, enhance national security, and provide economic growth and create jobs.
 

STORIES FROM THE NNI PODCAST SERIES

To celebrate the NNI, special anniversary episodes of the Stories from the NNI podcast series will showcase experts from academia, government, and industry who will provide their perspectives on key research and development advances in nanotechnology and how the NNI has changed the nanotechnology landscape. These experts will also share their thoughts on emerging applications and research questions at the expanding boundaries of nanotechnology.  A key theme in this series will be the advancements in our understanding of the potential environmental, health, and safety implications of nanomaterials and the safe handling procedures that have been developed.

The inaugural podcast is a conversation between Lisa Friedersdorf, Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, and Tarek Fadel, Assistant Director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. Lisa and Tarek discuss NNI’s impact on the nanotechnology research and development landscape, take stock of compelling research advances enabled by the NNI, and share the areas of nanotechnology that excite them the most.

Episodes celebrating the NNI will be interspersed throughout the Stories from the NNI podcast series over the coming weeks and months.
 

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON EXCITING NANOTECHNOLOGY ADVANCES!

What advances in nanotechnology over the past 15 years excite you the most? We welcome your thoughts and encourage you to join the conversation. Contact us at 15NNI@nnco.nano.gov.