• Join your peers at SSTI's 2024 Annual Conference!

    Join us December 10-12 in Arizona to connect with and learn from your peers working around the country to strengthen their regional innovation economies. Visit ssticonference.org for more information and to register today.

  • Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

NSF, NIH Commit Combined $213M toward Nanotech

September 27, 2004

While the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have voiced caution and funded efforts to understand the potential societal and environmental implications of nanotechnology deployment, both agencies announced much larger funding commitments - totaling $213 million - to expedite commercial applications for the explosive field.

Nanotech Solutions for Cancer

Carrying a federal five-year price tag of $144.3 million, the NIH's National Cancer Institute (NCI) is forming the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, a comprehensive, integrated initiative encompassing researchers, clinicians, and public and private organizations that have joined forces to develop and translate cancer-related nanotechnology research into clinical practice.

The new NCI Alliance is one of the first steps in implementing the Cancer Nanotechnology Plan, which was developed over the past 18 months with the input of a broad cross-section of the cancer research and clinical oncology communities. The NCI Alliance consists of four major program activities:

  • Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence;
  • Multidisciplinary research teams;
  • Nanotechnology platforms for cancer research; and,
  • Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory.

The NCI recently signed a memorandum of understanding and an interagency agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology as partners in this characterization and standardization effort. The NCI also will be working to expand collaborations with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help define the critical pathway for nanotechnologies to reach the clinic.

Among the key components of the Cancer Nanotechnology Plan are milestones to measure success over two time periods. Within the first three years, the plan calls for acceleration of projects that hold promise for near-term clinical application. After three years, the Alliance will focus on developing solutions to address more difficult technological and biological problems that have the potential to impact detection and treatment.

More information regarding the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer is available at: http://nano.cancer.gov

Nanoscale Science & Engineering

NSF awarded $69 million over five years to fund nanoscale science and engineering centers at six universities across the country. According to NSF, the new centers will impact a wide range of technologies including nanomanufacturing, nanobiotechnology, electronics and medicine. The awards are part of a series of NSF grants for nanoscale research in multiple disciplines for fiscal year 2004 totaling $250 million. Centers will be developed at the following universities:

  • University of California-Berkeley received $11.9 million for the Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems. Research is focused on the science and engineering of nano-mechanical systems that are likely to have applications in chemical and biological sensing, and high-density, low-power, low-cost consumption;
  • Northeastern University was awarded $12.4 million to develop the Center for High Rate Nanomanufacturing, which will assess the environmental impact of nanomanufacturing during process development;
  • Ohio State University was awarded $12.9 million for the Center for Affordable Nanoengineering of Polymer Biomedical Devices. This center seeks to develop polymer-based, low-cost, nanoengineering technology that can be used to produce nanodevices and structures for next-generation medical diagnostic and therapeutic applications;
  • University of Pennsylvania received $11.4 million for the Center on Molecular Function at the Nano/Bio Interface, focusing on research at the interface of nanotechnology and biology at the molecular level;
  • Stanford University was awarded $7.5 million for the Center for Probing the Nanoscale, which expects to enhance the capabilities of the nanotechnology community to measure, image and control nanoscale phenomena; and
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison received $13.4 million for the Center for Templated Synthesis and Assembly at the Nanoscale. This center addresses the self-assembly of complex materials and building blocks including biological materials at the nanoscale.

More information about the awards is available from the NSF at: http://www.nsf.gov