Nanotechnology and You

Nanotechnology is changing the world and the way we live, creating scientific advances and new products that are smaller, faster, stronger, safer, and more reliable. After about 20 years of steady progress in nanotechnology research and development, scientists in the United States and around the world have a much clearer picture of how to create nanoscale materials with properties never before envisioned. Scientists and engineers are exploring exciting new discoveries at the nanoscale every day.

Benefits and Applications

Nanotechnology research will have a significant, positive impact on our world.

Environmental, Health, and Safety Issues

The NNI and its member agencies are committed to the responsible development of nanotechnology.

Ethical, Legal, and Societal Issues

The potential societal, ethical, and legal implications of nanotechnology are an important NNI issue.

Federal Legislation & Congressional Info

Congress and the Executive Branch fund nanotechnology R&D and establish policies and regulations that affect nano-enabled products and materials.

International Engagement

Examples of multi- and bi-lateral cooperation between the U.S. and foreign governments.

Standards for Nanotechnology

Globally accepted nanotechnology standards are vital to continuing progress in research and development and eventual commercialization.


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.