President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Review of the NNI for 2017 (letter report)

Subject Area:
External Evaluations of the NNI
Author: President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)
Publication Date: Jan. 17 2017

Description:

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology released its most recent review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative in a letter report, stating “The NNI has created a foundation for researchers to unearth the scientific secrets of the smallest scale and begin to amplify them into reimagined devices, systems, and new ways of engineering that will address some of the Nation’s greatest challenges.”


Nanotechnology Fact

Nanoscale materials have been used for over a thousand years. For example, nanoscale gold was used in stained glass in Medieval Europe and nanotubes were found in blades of swords made in Damascus. However, ten centuries passed before high-powered microscopes were invented, allowing us to see things at the nanoscale and begin working with these materials.

Nanotechnology as we now know it began more than 30 years ago, when tools to image and measure at the nanoscale became available. Around the turn of the century, government research managers in the United States and other countries observed that physicists, biologists, chemists, electrical engineers, optical engineers, and materials scientists were working on interconnected, multidisciplinary issues emerging at the nanoscale. In 2000, the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) was created to help these researchers benefit from each other’s insights, accelerate technology development, and foster commercialization across disciplines.

To learn more, see What is Nanotechnology?

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