To celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office is 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 is also looking 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.

The activities planned by NNCO to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the NNI include:

  • Special anniversary episodes of “Stories from the NNI” podcast series. (see more below)

Experts from academia, government, and industry share their perspectives on key research and development advances in nanotechnology. They also discuss how the NNI has changed the nanotechnology landscape.

This panel will engage prominent experts to highlight recent nanotechnology advances, and perhaps more importantly, the future opportunities, challenges, and societal impact nanoscience and technology has in store for us all.

  • The NNI at 15: A Stakeholder Workshop on the Past, Present, and Future of the NNI. August 1-2, in Washington, DC.

To celebrate the NNI, special anniversary episodes of the Stories from the NNI podcast series will share the perspectives of experts from academia, government, and industry on key research and development advances in nanotechnology and how the NNI has changed the nanotechnology landscape. These experts will share their thoughts on emerging applications and research questions at the expanding boundaries of nanotechnology. The series will also highlight what has been learned about the potential environmental, health, and safety implications of nanomaterials, as well as the safe handling procedures that have been developed.
The inaugural podcast is a conversation between Dr. Lisa Friedersdorf, Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, and Dr. 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 the 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.
In the first podcast in the series, released on Feb. 25, Dr. Friedersdorf talks to Prof. Pedro Alvarez, of Rice University. Pedro and Lisa discuss the use of nanotechnology in water applications, exciting results, and Pedro’s thoughts on the NNI’s contributions during the past 15 years. Check out the episode here
In the second podcast, released on March 4, Dr. Friedersdorf, talks to Martin Ben-Dayan, co-founder and CEO of MetaShield, about his company, the promise of innovative products that use nanoparticles and functional materials, and the challenges start-ups face. Check out the episode here.
In the third podcast, released on March 11, Dr. Friedersdorf, talks to Dr. Marcie Black, CEO and Co-founder of Advanced Silicon Group. Marcie and Lisa discuss the promise of nanotechnology to solve the world’s problems, Marcie’s experience developing her technology, and her thoughts on the NNI. Check out the episode here.
In the fourth podcast, released on March 18, Dr. Friedersdorf, talks to Dr. Chuck Geraci, Associate Director for Emerging Technologies at National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Lisa and Chuck talk about how NIOSH works with industry to ensure workplace safety, the progress that has been made in nanotechnology environmental, health, and safety research over the last 15 years, and areas where nanotechnology can help solve problems in the future. Check out the episode here.
And keep an eye out for new podcasts every Monday!
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.
On December 3, 2003, the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act authorizing the 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 20 Federal departments and independent agencies with a range of research and regulatory roles and responsibilities. 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, scientific advances, 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.