Designing the future of America’s nanotechology industry

As the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) prepares to enter its third decade, it is seeking public input on what that future should look like. NNI is drafting its 2021 strategic plan and has several big changes under consideration, including a reorganization and shifts in research and commercialization priorities. For instance, as nanotechnology matures and reaches broader applications, so too do questions around “responsible development,” including environmental, health and safety considerations, according to NNI.  Workforce and education needs grow as well as nanotechnology moves from lab to market.

U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative strong but future threatened by rise in global R&D competitors

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently released its report on the state of the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) — authorized by the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of 2003 to coordinate the nanotech-related R&D activities of 26 federal agencies — finding that although the U.S. has maintained a strong program it is increasingly challenged by international competitors. Specifically, the report names China as the primary contender for the U.S.’ spot at the top and attributes its success to strong Chinese leadership and commitment to substantial investment in the field. Looking toward the future, the authors reevaluated the NNI’s stated goals, identified three priorities to ensure the NNI vision can be carried out moving forward, and conclude with five key recommendations needed to meet these priorities and carry out the NNI vision.

The National Nanotechnology Initiative Releases Draft Strategic Plan, Encourages Public Comments

The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), established in 2001 as a collaboration of 20 federal agencies and cabinet-level departments with an interest in nanotechnology R&D and commercialization, has released a draft of its 2016 strategic plan. The National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan, which describes the initiative’s vision and goals as well as potential strategies to achieve these goals. The plan is an update to and a replacement of a plan originally released in December 2013. Prior to the new plan’s official publication, the public is encouraged to submit comments online by September 23, 2016.

NY Gov Cuomo Announces Next Phase of $1.5B Nano Utica Initiative

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the next steps of his administration’s Nano Utica initiative, an effort to revitalize the Mohawk Valley regional economy through nanotechnology innovation. Originally announced in October 2013, Nano Utica is a public-private partnership spearheaded by the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY CNSE) and the SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT), along with more than $1.5 billion in investment from global technology companies.

OSTP Solicits Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenges

In response to an assessment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI),a federal R&D initiative focused on developing nanotechnology, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) recently released a Request for Information (RFI) that seeks suggestions for Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenges for the Next Decade.

National Nanotech Initiative Strategic Plan Open for Public Comment

The National Science and Technology Council has released a new draft strategic plan for the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). NNI, launched in 2001, is a cross-agency initiative to coordinate regulatory and research policies to advance nanotech innovation. The previous plan was released in 2011. NNI is seeking input on its strategic goals, particularly the research challenges addressed by its Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives. The plan is open for public comment through December 18. Download the plan...

Careers in Nanotech Goal of Latest Investments in NY, IL

A public-private investment of $1.5 billion to create a nanotech hub in upstate New York and a $250,000 educational investment in Illinois illustrate recent state efforts to elevate nanotechnology in workforce development. New York is putting $200 million toward the Nano Utica facility for purchasing new equipment. The initiative is being led by six global technology companies, and the facility will serve as a cleanroom and research hub for computer chip packaging and lithography development and commercialization. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn recently announced a $250,000 state investment for equipment to prepare high school students for careers in nanotechnology. The school receiving the funds also plans to incorporate nanotechnology programming within its STEM summer camp curriculum.

SUNY Acquisition Demonstrates Prominent Role of Research Centers in Innovation Economy

Well-designed research centers can help bring an innovation ecosystem together through the spillover effects of knowledge dissemination, student learning experiences, local early access to new technologies, and by attracting R&D funding. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced a $30 million initiative led by SUNY’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) to transform and revitalize a vacant building into a hub for smart cities technology companies, research, education and workforce training.

Air Force To Launch $4.4 Million Virtual Nano-Bio Manufacturing Institute

The Air Force Research Laboratory announced that it will commit up to $2.2 million, plus up to an additional $2.2 million in matching funds collected by the recipient organization, to establish a National Nano-Bio Manufacturing Institute for Defense Aerospace, a virtual public-private partnership to spur collaborate research in industrially-relevant nano-bio manufacturing technologies and establish developmental roadmaps for the aerospace manufacturing community. Existing or near-established nonprofit organizations, including institutions of higher education, are eligible to apply. Proposals are due by November 13, 2012. Read the federal funding announcement...

PCAST Report Recommends Increased Funding For Nanotech Research

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:


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