NNI Supplement to the President's 2020 Budget

Subject Area:
NNI Publications and Reports
NNI Budget
Publication Date: Aug. 30 2019


This document is a supplement to the President’s 2020 Budget request and serves as the Annual Report for the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), called for under the provisions of the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act (15 USC §7501). The report also addresses the requirement for Department of Defense reporting on its nanotechnology investments, per 10 USC §2358. 

The President’s 2020 Budget requests over $1.4 billion for the NNI, a continued investment in basic research, early-stage applied research, and technology transfer efforts that are leading to the breakthroughs of the future. Cumulatively totaling nearly $29 billion since the inception of the NNI in 2001 (including the 2020 request), this support reflects the continued importance of investments that advance our fundamental understanding of and ability to control matter at the nanoscale, as well as the translation of that knowledge into technological breakthroughs that serve the American people. 

The President’s 2020 Budget supports nanoscale science, engineering, and technology R&D at 11 agencies. See the graph above for funding trends since the inception of the NNI; see the acronyms page for agency abbreviations. The NNI Supplement to the President’s 2020 Budget documents progress of the NNI participating agencies in addressing the goals and objectives of the NNI. As called for in the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, NNI investments are categorized by Program Component Area (PCA). The PCA breakdown for the 2020 Budget can be seen in the pie chart on the left. The formal definition of each PCA can be found on the NNI Vision, Goals, and PCAs page.



About the cover (above)

Each year’s NNI Supplement to the President’s Budget features cover images illustrating recent developments in nanotechnology stemming from NNI activities that have the potential to make major contributions to National priorities.

The image on this year’s cover was taken to see if the nanoparticles (blue) would home in on follicular dendritic cells (orange), which orchestrate B cell proliferation and antibody production in germinal centers – tiny biological factories that lie inside lymph nodes and in which antibody-producing B cells generate a coordinated immune response against infectious diseases. The Lab of Darrell Irvine at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) develops nanoparticle vaccines that target specific cell types to jump-start this process. While this particular vaccine takes aim at HIV, targeted delivery of nanoparticles within the lymph nodes could combat many other diseases as well, including cancer. This image was acquired using a Nikon A1R Ultra-Fast Spectral Scanning Confocal Microscope. The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and National Cancer Institute), the Koch Foundation, the Ragon Institute, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. Image credit: Jason Y.H. Chang, Tyson Moyer, and Darrell Irvine, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.

About the inside back cover (above)

Images illustrate examples of NNI outreach activities. The NNI promotes public outreach to students, teachers, the general public, and the NNI community through (clockwise from top left):

Additional agency highlights can be found here.

Nanotechnology Fact

Although federally-funded R&D yields hard-to-quantify benefits such as students educated, degrees conferred, companies started, patents and copyrights granted, developmental partnerships formed, and private sector investment inflows, there are many indicators of the impact of this ­­­­­investment.

For example, there are over 1,900 U.S.-based companies conducting R&D, manufacturing, or product sales in nanotechnology in 2016. Of these companies engaged in the nanotechnology sector, over 36% have participated in the Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer programs funded by the Federal agencies that participate in the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The most recent Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS) conducted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) found approximately 1,500 companies engaged in nanotechnology with approximately 1,100 of these classified as small businesses (less than 500 employees). The difference in the number of companies cited above can be attributed to the year the data was collected and other methodologies.

A noteworthy impact of the NNI has been the focused investment by NNI-participating agencies in the establishment and development of multidisciplinary research and education centers devoted to nanoscience and nanotechnology. NNI agencies have developed an extensive infrastructure of nearly 100 major interdisciplinary research and education centers and user facilities across the United States. This cutting-edge fabrication and characterization equipment provides state-of-the-art nanoscience tools and expertise for research by non-profit or business organizations, whether small or large, for use-inspired research and some of the user facilities are available free-of-charge for non-proprietary work if the user intends to publish the research results in the scientific literature.

In December 2015, Lux Research estimated that nanotechnology-enabled products generated $1.6 trillion in global revenues in 2014; and that figure is anticipated to increase to $3.5 trillion in 2018.

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