NNI Supplement to the President's 2014 Budget

Subject Area:
NNI Budget
Author: NSTC/CoT/NSET
Publication Date: May. 14 2013

Description:

The President’s 2014 Budget provides over $1.7 billion for the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), a sustained investment in support of the President’s priorities and innovation strategy. Cumulatively totaling almost $20 billion since the inception of the NNI in 2001 (including the 2014 request), this support reflects nanotechnology’s potential to significantly improve our fundamental understanding and control of matter at the nanoscale and to translate that knowledge into solutions to critical national issues. NNI research efforts are guided by two strategic documents developed by the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), the 2011 NNI Strategic Plan and the 2011 NNI Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Strategy. These strategic documents guide how NNI agencies address the full range of nanotechnology research and development, technology transfer and product commercialization, infrastructure and education, as well as the societal issues that accompany an emerging technology. The investments in 2012 and 2013 and those proposed for 2014 continue the emphasis on accelerating the transition from basic R&D to innovations that support national priorities.

This document provides supplemental information to the President’s 2014 Budget and serves as the Annual Report on the NNI called for in the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act (P.L. 108-153, 15 USC §7501). The report also addresses the requirement for Department of Defense reporting on its nanotechnology investments, per 10 USC §2358 (see Appendix A). In particular, the report summarizes NNI programmatic activities for 2012 and 2013, as well as those currently planned for 2014.

NNI budgets for 2012–2014 are presented by agency and PCA in Chapter 2 of this report. Information on the use of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) program funds to support nanotechnology research and commercialization activities, also called for in P.L. 108-153, is included at the end of Chapter 2. Activities that have been undertaken and progress that has been made toward achieving the four goals set out in the NNI Strategic Plan, activities in support of the NNI Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives (NSIs), changes in the balance of investments by PCA, and highlights from external reviews of the NNI and how their recommendations are being addressed, are presented in Chapters 3–6.


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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