The National Science Foundation has announced it call for proposals for creating the new Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology.  The proposal is for grant money to help create a "national Center to conduct fundamental research and education on the implications of nanotechnology for the environment and living systems at all scales."

The Center is to focus on:

  • interactions of nanomaterials with organisms, cellular constituents, metabolic networks, and living tissues;
  • environmental exposure and bioaccumulation and the effects on living organisms;
  • biological impacts of nanomaterials dispersed in the environment.

The solicitation is restricted to the study of nanomaterials, as defined by having one dimension between 1 and 100 nanometers, but includes the study of natural, incidental, and engineered nanoparticles.  The award is expected to be for $5,000,000 per year for five years, with one possible five-year renewal.  $4,000,000 will come from NSF funding, while the remaining $1,000,000 is expected to come from the US EPA.  The Center is expected to address a multi-disciplinary approach to studying biological interaction with nanomaterials, including the standard sciences as well as social and behavioral sciences.

Those eligible include US academic and research institutions and non-profit non-academic institutions such as museums and research labs.  Proposals are due by March 17, 2008.  More information on the solicitation can be found here.