• 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!

PCAST Report Recommends Increased Funding For Nanotech Research

May 02, 2012

PCAST provides several recommendations that will continue the success of NNI and translate the benefits of investments in nanotechnology to the public. Individual recommendations are given in four categories of key importance: strategic planning, program management, metrics and EHS research. Specific recommendations for 2012 and beyond include, but are not limited to:

  • Increasing the funding levels of Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives by the office of management and budget.
  • Dedicating 0.3 percent of NNI funding to the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office to ensure the appropriate staffing and budget to effectively develop, monitor and assess NNI programs;
  • Developing mission-appropriate definition of nanotechnology that enables tracking specific nanotechnology investments supported at the program level by all agencies; and,
  • Establishing a high-level, cross-agency authoritative and accountable governance of Federal nanotechnology-related EHS research.

The report also provides updates on the recommendations found in PCAST's 2010 review of NNI. Since 2010, the NNI has made substantial progress in eight areas that include:

  • Expanding commercialization efforts led by National Nanotechnology Coordination Office;
  • Releasing a research strategy that addresses the environmental health and safety (EHS) implications of nanotechnology;
  • Creating an Industry and State Liaison position to serve as a point of contact for the private sector;
  • Incorporating the input of industry in NNI planning through public-private partnerships that focus on developing strategies for job creation and state outreach;
  • Initiating Department of Energy programs that includes industrial partners to overcome technological barriers to nanotechnology commercialization;
  • Creating the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences to accelerate translation of promising technologies and clinical studies; and,
  • Establishing an EHS strategy that reflects evolving research needs and the strategic research plans of three relevant agencies.

According to the report, NNI member agencies will collaborate to establish the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia in 2013 to speed up the development and commercialization of new products and services, including nanotechnology.

Although progress has been achieved in those areas, federal agencies and offices have made little progress on key recommendations in four areas including:

  • Strategic Planning — a lack of cohesion of an overarching framework, and no clear connection between the goals and objectives of the NNI strategic plan with those of individual agencies;
  • Program Management — several problems related to program management including limited authority to influence agency budgets, inadequate mechanisms to solicit and act upon advice and insufficient funding to support the agencies in implementing programs that align with the NNI strategic plan;
  • Metrics — little appears to have been done to spur the development of metrics needed to determine the economic outcomes of the initiative; and,
  • EHS Research — a lack of integration between nanotechnology-related EHS research supported by NIH and the distribution of information to policymakers.


Read the report...

return to the top of the page

white house, nanotech, r&d