NNI 2011 Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Research Strategy

Subject Area:
NNI Strategic Documents
EHS-related Documents
Author: NSET/NEHI
Publication Date: Oct. 20 2011

Description:

Nanotechnology safety benefits everyone, from lab researchers and factory workers to the consumers of products enabled by this emerging technology. Accordingly, the Federal Government has developed the 2011 NNI Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Research Strategy, a comprehensive approach to ensuring the safe, effective, and responsible development and use of nanotechnology.

The NNI 2011 EHS Research Strategy provides guidance to the Federal agencies that produce the scientific information for risk management, regulatory decision-making, product use, research planning, and public outreach. The core research areas providing this critical information are (1) Nanomaterial Measurement Infrastructure, (2) Human Exposure Assessment, (3) Human Health, (4) Environment,  (5) Risk Assessment and Risk Management Methods, and (6) Informatics and Modeling. Consideration of ethical, legal, and societal implications (ELSI) of nanotechnology were also woven into the strategy.

Click here to see the archived video of the webinar. (This webinar was held on October 20, 2011 to highlight the release of the NNI EHS Research Strategy. If you have not done so already, you will need to register to view the webinar. Otherwise just enter your email address to log in and click on the Flash Player link.)


Nanotechnology Fact

Although federally-funded R&D yields hard-to-quantify benefits such as students educated, degrees conferred, companies started, patents and copyrights granted, developmental partnerships formed, and private sector investment inflows, there are many indicators of the impact of this ­­­­­investment.

For example, there are over 1,900 U.S.-based companies conducting R&D, manufacturing, or product sales in nanotechnology in 2016. Of these companies engaged in the nanotechnology sector, over 36% have participated in the Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer programs funded by the Federal agencies that participate in the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The most recent Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS) conducted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) found approximately 1,500 companies engaged in nanotechnology with approximately 1,100 of these classified as small businesses (less than 500 employees). The difference in the number of companies cited above can be attributed to the year the data was collected and other methodologies.

A noteworthy impact of the NNI has been the focused investment by NNI-participating agencies in the establishment and development of multidisciplinary research and education centers devoted to nanoscience and nanotechnology. NNI agencies have developed an extensive infrastructure of nearly 100 major interdisciplinary research and education centers and user facilities across the United States. This cutting-edge fabrication and characterization equipment provides state-of-the-art nanoscience tools and expertise for research by non-profit or business organizations, whether small or large, for use-inspired research and some of the user facilities are available free-of-charge for non-proprietary work if the user intends to publish the research results in the scientific literature.

In December 2015, Lux Research estimated that nanotechnology-enabled products generated $1.6 trillion in global revenues in 2014; and that figure is anticipated to increase to $3.5 trillion in 2018.

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