Regional, State, and Local Initiatives in Nanotechnology Workshop Report (2009)

Subject Area:
NNI Workshop Reports
Author: Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology Subcommittee; Committee on Technology, National Science and Technology Council
Publication Date: Apr. 1 2009

Description:

This report on Regional, State, and Local (RSL) Initiatives in Nanotechnology is the result of a topical workshop convened 1–3 April 2009 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, by the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Technology.

The goal of the Workshop on RSL Initiatives in Nanotechnology was to improve the outcomes of nanotechnology research, education, and business activities undertaken by U.S. organizations working to advance nanotechnology, such as small and large businesses, universities, research and education foundations, industry groups, and nongovernmental organizations. The strategy for reaching this goal is to exploit synergies between the various initiatives, promote sharing of information and resources, and develop ongoing mechanisms for relevant interactions.

The specific objectives of the workshop were to:
■ Exchange information and stimulate collaboration between the workshop participants
■ Explore mechanisms to better link the NNI and regional, state, and local initiatives
■ Explore the roles of Federal, regional, state, and local entities in nanotechnology transfer, education and training, and economic development
■ Identify common goals and objectives among the initiatives
■ Identify paths forward to enhance the effectiveness of the initiatives through collaboration, information
exchange, and resource sharing


Nanotechnology Fact

Nanoscale materials have been used for over a millenium. 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 materials at the nanoscale.

Nanotechnology as we now know it began about 30 years ago, when our tools to image and measure extended into the nanoscale. Around the turn of the millennium, 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 overlapping 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 and accelerate the technology’s development.

To learn more, see What is Nanotechnology?

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