NNI Supplement to the President's FY 2001 Budget

Subject Area:
NNI Budget
Publication Date: Feb. 1 2000


“My budget supports a major new National Nanotechnology Initiative, worth $500 million. … the ability to manipulate matter at the atomic and molecular level. Imagine the possibilities: materials with ten times the strength of steel and only a small fraction of the weight -- shrinking all the information housed at the Library of Congress into a device the size of a sugar cube -- detecting cancerous tumors when they are only a few cells in size. Some of our research goals may take 20 or more years to achieve, but that is precisely why there is an important role for the federal government.”

--President William J. Clinton
January 21, 2000
California Institute Of Technology

President Clinton’s FY 2001 budget request includes a $225 million (83%) increase in the federal government’s investment in nanotechnology research and development. The Administration is making this major new initiative, called the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), a top science and technology priority. The emerging fields of nanoscience and nanoengineering – the ability to precisely move matter - are leading to unprecedented understanding and control over the fundamental building blocks of all physical things. These developments are likely to change the way almost everything – from vaccines to computers to automobile tires to objects not yet imagined – is designed and made.

The initiative, which nearly doubles the investment over FY 2000, strengthens scientific disciplines and creates critical interdisciplinary opportunities. Agencies participating in NNI include the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Roughly 70% of the new funding proposed under the NNI will go to university-based research, which will help meet the growing demand for workers with nanoscale science and engineering skills. Many of these research goals may take 20 or more years to achieve, but that is precisely why there is an important role for the Federal government.

Nanotechnology Fact

Depending on the shape, the application, or the components, nanomaterials may be called by a variety of different names, including nanoparticles, nanotubes, nanofilms, nanoshells, nanospheres, nanowires, nanoclays, nanoconcrete, nanopolymers, and much more. Other nanomaterials have distinct qualities that have led researchers to call them by other non-nano prefix names, such as quantum dots or graphene. Generally speaking, nanomaterials are objects with one or more dimension at the nanoscale. Efforts to standardize these words are currently underway, for example, by the International Organization for Standardization. For more information, visit the Standards page.

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