NNI Budget


The President’s 2020 Budget requests over $1.4 billion for the National Nanotechnology Initiative (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 NNI investments in 2018 and 2019 and those proposed for 2020 reflect a sustained emphasis on broad, fundamental research in nanoscience.

Federal organizations with the largest investments are:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): nanotechnology-based biomedical research at the intersection of life and physical sciences.
  • National Science Foundation (NSF): fundamental research and education across all disciplines of science and engineering.
  • Department of Energy (DOE): fundamental and applied research providing a basis for new and improved energy technologies.
  • Department of Defense (DOD): science and engineering research advancing defense and dual-use capabilities.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): fundamental research and development of measurement and fabrication tools, analytical methodologies, metrology, and standards for nanotechnology.

Other agencies and agency components investing in mission-related nanotechnology research are the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice (including the National Institute of Justice), the Department of the Interior (including the U.S. Geological Survey), the Department of Transportation (including the Federal Highway Administration), the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (including the Agricultural Research Service, the Forest Service, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture).

The table below shows NNI investments for 2018 through 2020 for Federal agencies with budgets and investments for nanotechnology R&D (from the 2020 Budget Supplement, page 6).


* 2019 numbers are based on appropriated levels.
** Funding levels for DOE include the combined budgets of the Office of Science, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Office of Fossil Energy, and the Office of Nuclear Energy.

For clarification of agency abbreviations used in the table, see the Acronyms page.

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