NNCO Quarterly Newsletter: Summer 2018 Edition


 

 


WHAT'S BIG IN SMALL SCIENCE?
A Quarterly Newsletter of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO)

 


DIRECTOR'S CORNER

Even though I am away from the university and my own children are long out of school, this time of year still brings excitement as the summer winds down and the new year is about to begin. Perhaps it seems particularly palpable this year because I returned to my home institution for much of the summer and am now beginning a new term as Director of the NNCO. I still get excited by research and development announcements that illustrate the impact of NNI investments, even after more than two decades of being involved with nanotechnology. Nano.gov highlights recent examples such as the use of cellulose nanocrystals to help protect fruit buds and flowers from frost and the use of nanoparticles to absorb sunlight, providing the thermal energy to drive water desalination. The Oleo Sponge, designed to help clean up oil spills, has successfully undergone real-world testing in the ocean since my last column! And while examples of nanotechnology applications such as these are all around us, our work is not done. Second-generation products that incorporate active nanostructures are beginning to emerge, but remain largely in the research and development stage. Future generations of products that make use of the increasingly complex nanosystems being researched today will lead to even more exciting applications likely beyond my imagination.

This year, we will focus on two of NNCO’s primary responsibilities: providing public outreach and promoting commercialization of nanotechnology. NNCO activities will build upon and expand efforts to tell the stories from the NNI, and to support the nanotechnology community by facilitating networks, promoting access to resources, and sharing best practices. For example, based on the positive feedback from theTechnology Development Pathways: Case Studies from the NNI workshop and town hall held last year, we plan to hold another workshop and a series of webinars using this framework. These efforts focus on sharing information to assist the commercialization of nanotechnologies, aimed in particular at the small- and medium-sized enterprise community. Additional efforts will also concentrate on nanotechnology-focused entrepreneurship and the burgeoning community of interest in this area. Keep an eye on Nano.gov for more information about these activities and events.
 
Over the past few years, the community of research (COR) mechanism has proven to be an effective means to bring researchers together. In addition to joint white papers and peer-reviewed publications, engagement through the U.S.-EU nanoEHS CORs, for example, resulted in the adoption of a common data format enabling better data sharing. This year, we will be expanding this mechanism to bring together researchers in nanomedicine. A discussion of the Nanomedicine COR will take place at the 11th European and Global Summit for Clinical Nanomedicine, Targeted Delivery and Precision Medicine in September. Please join us if you plan to be there. More details will follow on Nano.gov and in other venues over the coming months.

And for those of you who are heading back to school, we plan to continue to grow and strengthen the networks that bring together teachers and students. Teachers, there are many resources available to help you incorporate nanotechnology in your classrooms, and we will continue the webinar series to share best practices. Students, especially undergraduates, get involved in growing the Nano and Emerging Technologies Student Network. The students in the network are already planning their activities and events and hope to launch a new website soon. Contact us at nanoed@nnco.nano.gov to learn more.

Although I won’t spend much time in the classroom this fall, I will be out in the community hosting and participating in a number of events over the coming months. I hope to see you there! I welcome you to join the conversation in the nanotechnology research, STEM, and entrepreneurship communities, and to tell us your NNI stories.


NNCO IN THE COMMUNITY

The NNCO will host a town hall meeting titled “National Nanotechnology Initiative - What We Know, Where We're Going, and How You Can Engage” on Aug. 19, 2018, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the American Chemical Society’s National Meeting in Boston, Mass. (Ballroom West, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center). Dr. Lisa Friedersdorf, Director of the NNCO; Dr. Stacey Standridge, Deputy Director of the NNCO; and Dr. Paul Weiss, ACS Nano Editor-in-Chief, will provide highlights from the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative. Focus areas will include entrepreneurship; the Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives to accelerate advances in water treatment, sensors, and manufacturing; communicating the state of nanotechnology environmental, health, and safety (nanoEHS) knowledge; and lab safety.

Nanomedicine will be the focus of a new Community of Research; an in-person meeting will be held during the 11th European and Global Summit for Clinical Nanomedicine, Targeted Delivery and Precision Medicine on Sept. 2–5, 2018, in Basel, Switzerland (scroll down to page 33, “Section 17: Satellite 5 - International Cooperation,” for details about the session).


HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NATIONAL NANOTECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE (NNI)

The NNCO has released the NNI Supplement to the President’s 2019 Budget. The President’s 2019 Budget provides nearly $1.4 billion for the NNI, a continued investment in basic research, early-stage applied research, and technology transfer efforts that will lead to the breakthroughs of the future. The NNI Supplement provides a breakdown of funding by agency and program component area as well as examples of agency accomplishments.  

On Monday, Aug. 20, representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy’s five Nanoscale Science Research Centers will discuss current and emergent characterization and theory capabilities for ionics science during a symposium titled “Ion Transport at the Nanoscale: Research and Capabilities at the DOE’s Nano Centers” at the American Chemical Society’s National Meeting in Boston, Mass. (Room 103, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center). The symposium is intended to foster discussions on the latest developments of new characterization and theoretical tools, the current knowledge advancements enabled by these tools, and the existing challenges and needs for future techniques. 

The NNCO is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Stacey Standridge as Deputy Director. She joins the NNCO as a detailee from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Patrice Pages has joined the contract staff as Communications and Public Affairs Liaison. Additional staff members can be found here.


NANOTECHNOLOGY ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTH, AND SAFETY

The 2nd Workshop on Quantifying Exposure to Engineered Nanomaterials (QEEN) in Manufactured Products will be held on Oct.9–10, 2018, at the U.S. Department of Labor. The workshop, which is sponsored by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and co-hosted by the National Nanotechnology Initiative, will be an opportunity to take stock of nanoexposure science—the science related to characterizing and estimating human and environmental exposure to nanomaterials—and to discuss future collaborations in this field. 

The National Nanotechnology Initiative and the European Commission are organizing a joint U.S.-E.U. workshop titled “Bridging NanoEHS Research Efforts.” This workshop, which will be held Oct. 11–12, 2018, in Washington, D.C., will bring together the U.S. and European Union (EU) nanotechnology environmental, health, and safety (nanoEHS) Communities of Research, which serve as a platform for American and European scientists to share information on nanoEHS research. This workshop will be the seventh event in a series of joint nanoEHS workshops organized by the National Nanotechnology Initiative and the European Commission.


NANOTECHNOLOGY COMMERCIALIZATION

Based on the positive feedback from the Technology Development Pathways: Case Studies from the NNI workshop, held on Nov. 1, 2017, NNCO plans to hold another workshop and a series of webinars using this framework.  These efforts focus on sharing information to assist the commercialization of nanotechnologies, aimed in particular at the small- and medium-sized enterprise community.  Additional efforts will also concentrate on nanotechnology-focused entrepreneurship and the burgeoning community of interest in this area.

On May 21, 2018, the NNCO held the first in its series of free webinars for the nanotechnology entrepreneurship community. This webinar featured stories from entrepreneurs that have transitioned nanotechnology research through commercialization. Participants shared lessons learned, technological challenges faced, and how their entrepreneurial ecosystem supported their efforts. The three speakers represented startups that produce implantable electronics to treat neurological disorders; provide nanoscale engineered alloys for use in multiple sectors; and develop and manufacture silicon-dominant anode materials for next-generation lithium-ion batteries. More information on National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) public webinars can be found here.

At the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo, which was held in Anaheim, California, May 13–16, 2018, the NNCO organized a session titled “Technology Development Pathways: Continuing the Conversation,” as a follow-on to the Nov. 1, 2017 Technology Development Pathways workshop.


NANOTECHNOLOGY AND YOU

National Nanotechnology Day 2018 is coming! Now in its third year, this series of community-led events and activities helps raise awareness of nanotechnology, how it is currently used in products that enrich our daily lives, and the challenges and opportunities it holds for the future. National Nanotechnology Day is on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. What do you plan to do to celebrate National Nanotechnology Day? Let us know by contacting us at NND2018@nnco.nano.gov.


STEM EDUCATION

Twenty-seven students, representing 11 universities, participated in this year’s Student Leaders Conference, which was part of the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo, held in Anaheim, California, May 13–16, 2018. The students learned from other students and made connections with professors and industry representatives. The entrepreneurship panel, new to this year’s conference, resulted in robust conversations among the students and panelists.

If you are a K–12 teacher or an undergraduate student, we welcome you to join the Nano and Emerging Technologies Teacher Network or the Nano and Emerging Technologies Student Network, respectively. The Nano and Emerging Technologies Teacher Network connects K–12 teachers who are using or want to use nanotechnology and other emerging technologies in the classroom. This network facilitates K–12 teachers’ access to classroom-ready resources and helps them to share best practices, exchange ideas for activities and examples, and promote local events. The Nano and Emerging Technologies Student Network consists of student-run clubs at universities and colleges across the country that raise awareness of current research and potential applications of nanotechnology and other emerging technologies; build an interdisciplinary community of students; and promote opportunities for students interested in research, innovation, and entrepreneurship.


UPCOMING EVENTS

American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting: Nanoscience, Nanotechnology, and Beyond,  Boston, Mass., Aug. 19–23, 2018

11th European and Global Summit for Clinical Nanomedicine, Targeted Delivery and Precision Medicine, Basel, Switzerland, Sept. 2–5, 2018

National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington, Sept. 12–14, 2018

NanoFlorida Conference, Melbourne, Florida, Oct. 5–7, 2018

QEEN II: 2nd Quantifying Exposure to Engineered Nanomaterials from Manufactured Products Workshop, Washington, D.C., Oct. 9–10, 2018

2018 U.S.-EU: Bridging NanoEHS Research Efforts joint workshop, Washington, D.C., Oct. 11–12, 2018

INDustrial TECHnologies 2018 Conference: Innovative Industries for Smart Growth, Vienna, Austria, Oct. 30–31, 2018

www.nano.gov | info@nnco.nano.gov

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