Coordination, collaboration, and communication help leverage resources, activities, and knowledge to advance the goals of the NNI.
For example, the Sensors Nanotechnology Signature Initiative (NSI) exemplifies the enhanced coordination and collaboration enabled by the NNI. On June 13th and 14th, the NNI Nanosensor Manufacturing Workshop brought together researchers, developers, and program managers to identify critical research needs to accelerate the commercialization of nanosensors. Quality and consistency of nanomaterials, supply chain, and access to testing facilities were common themes throughout the discussions. In addition to public workshops, webinars, and symposia embedded in conferences, a team of agency representatives actively coordinates efforts to advance the signature initiative. This regular communication has resulted in the hand-off of technologies from one agency to another and the development of joint programs, leveraging both resources and knowledge. More information is available on the Sensors NSI Portal on Nano.gov.
In May, the second annual Student Leaders Conference, co-located with the National SBIR/STTR Conference and the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo, convened students from the Nano and Emerging Technologies Student Network. In addition to bringing the students together to learn from each other, these concurrent events provide a unique opportunity for the students to interact with researchers, business leaders from small and large companies, investors, and government officials.
In a collaboration entering its third year, the NNCO develops short scripts about nanotechnology to be animated by a graphic design class at the Western Carolina University. Throughout the semester, NNCO meets virtually with the students to provide feedback on the technical content and answer questions. At the end of the semester, three animations are selected and posted on the Community Ideas Stations Science Matters website and social media accounts. These nanotechnology animations are also aired on Central Virginia PBS affiliates reaching 190,000 households per week and posted on PBS Learning Media, which provides free content for K-12 teachers. (See links to the left.)
The U.S.- EU nanoEHS Communities of Research provide a forum for experts in nanotechnology environmental, health, and safety research to collaboratively advance the field. As a result of these conversations, a common format for data storage has been agreed upon that will significantly enhance the ability of researchers to share knowledge and develop models. Sharing and building upon a common understanding of the state of nanoEHS science supports the responsible development of nanotechnology worldwide.
These are just a few examples of productive collaborations currently underway. How can we leverage your efforts? I welcome your thoughts and ideas.