NNI Supplement to the President's FY 2001 Budget

Subject Area:
NNI Budget
Author: NSTC/NNI/NSET
Publication Date: Feb. 1 2000

Description:

“My budget supports a major new National Nanotechnology Initiative, worth $500 million. … the ability to manipulate matter at the atomic and molecular level. Imagine the possibilities: materials with ten times the strength of steel and only a small fraction of the weight -- shrinking all the information housed at the Library of Congress into a device the size of a sugar cube -- detecting cancerous tumors when they are only a few cells in size. Some of our research goals may take 20 or more years to achieve, but that is precisely why there is an important role for the federal government.”

--President William J. Clinton
January 21, 2000
California Institute Of Technology

President Clinton’s FY 2001 budget request includes a $225 million (83%) increase in the federal government’s investment in nanotechnology research and development. The Administration is making this major new initiative, called the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), a top science and technology priority. The emerging fields of nanoscience and nanoengineering – the ability to precisely move matter - are leading to unprecedented understanding and control over the fundamental building blocks of all physical things. These developments are likely to change the way almost everything – from vaccines to computers to automobile tires to objects not yet imagined – is designed and made.

The initiative, which nearly doubles the investment over FY 2000, strengthens scientific disciplines and creates critical interdisciplinary opportunities. Agencies participating in NNI include the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Roughly 70% of the new funding proposed under the NNI will go to university-based research, which will help meet the growing demand for workers with nanoscale science and engineering skills. Many of these research goals may take 20 or more years to achieve, but that is precisely why there is an important role for the Federal government.


Nanotechnology Fact

Nanotechnology has the potential to profoundly change our economy and improve our standard of living, in much the same way as information technology advances have revolutionized our lives and the economy over the past two decades. While some commercial products are beginning to come to market, many major applications for nanotechnology are still 5-10 years away. Private investors look for short-term returns on investment, generally in the range of 1-3 years. Consequently, government support for nanotechnology research and development in its early stages is required to ensure that the United States can maintain a competitive position in the worldwide nanotechnology marketplace while realizing nanotechnology’s full potential. For more information on the various funding mechanisms of the NNI, see Funding Opportunities. To see some examples of what NNI funding has accomplished, see NNI Achievements in Nanotechnology.

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