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*This story was originally posted by the National Science Foundation.*
For a decade, the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) has enabled major discoveries, innovations and contributions to education and industry within all disciplines of nanoscale science, engineering and technology through NSF's support of a national network of university-based user facilities. These facilities have provided open access to leading-edge nanotechnology fabrication and characterization tools, instrumentation and expertise for users across the nation from academia, small and large companies, and government. NNIN has been a key infrastructure component of the National Nanotechnology Initiative.
NSF remains committed to supporting transformative research in nanoscience and nanotechnology and access to advanced facilities and infrastructure to enable such research and potential innovations. The agency has conducted an extensive review process for the Next-Generation National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network competition, which closed earlier this year. Based on that review, NSF has decided not to make an award for any of the submitted proposals. NSF will provide bridge funding to support the current NNIN facilities and staff for the immediate future in order to minimize disruptions to ongoing nanotechnology user projects and student education. The Foundation aims to minimize any gaps between current infrastructure support via NNIN and a future NSF nanotechnology infrastructure support program.
As we move forward, NSF will listen carefully to input from the science and engineering community to develop future possibilities for nanotechnology infrastructure for the long term. NSF will communicate next steps as they are finalized.
Sarah Bates, NSF, (703) 292-7738, firstname.lastname@example.org