The White House unveiled a draft for a $1.76 billion programme to start in the year 2011. This is the continuation of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), based on a strategy document that was put to the public for comments on 1 November 2010 until 30 November 2010. This consultation comes at a critical time for the US nanotechnology community; a recent international study on nanotechnology developments in 19 countries around the world by Lux Research indicated that the US is risking of losing its dominance in nanotechnology.
The NNI strategy plan under consultation aims to replace the one developed in 2007; four goals and objectives in the new strategy underpin the new strategic plan:
Goal 1: Advance a world-class nanotechnology research and development program
Goal 2: Foster the transfer of new technologies into products for commercial and public benefit
Goal 3: Develop and sustain educational resources, a skilled workforce, and the supporting infrastructure and tools to advance nanotechnology
Goal 4: Support responsible development of nanotechnology
The goals of the NNI programme reflect a very academic approach to the US nano-community. While other countries like Japan or Germany have already overtake US in commercialisation of nano, other players such as Russia and China are investing heavily in nano-manufacturing and commercialisation. Russia alone has invested over 7.2 billion Euros in developing their nano-industry.
The NNI strategy details the priority areas for the research and development:
- Fundamental Nanoscale Phenomena and Processes
- Nanoscale Devices and Systems
- Instrumentation Research, Metrology, and Standards for Nanotechnology
- Major Research Facilities and Instrumentation Acquisition
- Environment, Health, and Safety
- Education and Societal Dimensions
With so much at stake we hope that the public consultation if going to bring useful comments and would allow NNI to reinvent itself.
News item was produced by NIA in association with BREC Solutions.