Yesterday, Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology introduced H.R. 554, the National Nanotechnology Initiative Amendments Act of 2009. This is a bill identical to the 110th Congress’s H.R. 5490, which passed the House by a 407 to 6 vote, but stalled in the Senate. According to the Committee’s press release the NNI Amendments Act of 2009 will "require[ ] the agencies participating in the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) to develop a plan for the environmental and safety research, and a roadmap for implementing it, which includes explicit near-term and long-term goals and the funding required, by goal and by agency. The bill also seeks to leverage private sector investments in nanotechnology and facilitate technology transfer by strengthening public/private partnerships."
You’ll recall that we did several posts concerning the 2008 version of the bill and the importance of reauthorizing the NNI. While each federal agency will continue to pursue its own agenda for nanotechnology research and regulation, it s important to have an umbrella organization that is aware of all of the different efforts in order to make connections and avoid duplication when possible. Hopefully Congress can see its way to reauthorizing the NNI before the bill expires, again. Stay tuned for hearing announcements and bill markups.