Fourth review of the NNI highlights expanded efforts in commercialization and environmental, health, & safety and makes recommendations to ensure continued success
(April 27, 2012) Today the agencies participating in the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) received recommendations of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) in the 2012 Report to the President and Congress on the Fourth Assessment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. In this report, PCAST finds that “substantial progress” has been made in expanding the efforts to enable commercialization and coordination with industry. Additionally, the report points to the NNI’s creation of a stand-alone environmental, health, and safety (EHS) research strategy as a crucial milestone in the responsible development of nanotechnology.
Other examples of NNI progress cited in the report include:
- Development of an Industry and State Liaison position to serve as a point of contact for the private sector and states.
- Efforts to develop mechanisms for industry input into NNI planning through public-private partnerships, as well as efforts to develop an agenda that focuses on job creation and state outreach.
- Strong and growing portfolio of research on the societal implications of nanotechnology and nanotechnology education.
The PCAST report also underscores the importance of continued efforts to ensure that the United States maintains its leadership role in the field of nanotechnology. PCAST encourages the NNI agencies to:
- Ensure that Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives are fully supported.
- Track the development of metrics for quantifying the Federal nanotechnology portfolio.
- Encourage high-level agency participation in the NNI to more effectively drive agency planning to achieve strategic goals.
The NNI was established in 2001 to coordinate research and development in nanoscale science, engineering, technology and related efforts across 26 agencies and programs of the U.S. Federal Government. The PCAST is an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers appointed by the President to provide advice on science and technology. The NNI agencies look forward to working together to integrate the PCAST recommendations into the NNI’s ongoing strategic planning process.