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Tag Archives: NNI

An Interview with Senator Ron Wyden

The New Haven Independent regularly covers the nanotech field, from the latest experiment in using nanoparticles to deliver medications more efficently to discussions of how nanoindustry will affect the national and regional economies. Recently the New Haven Independent posted an edited transcript of an internview with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), a long time advocate of Nanotech research and Nanoindustry in the US Senate and one of the Co-chairs of the Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus.

Topics covered in the interview ranged from Wyden’s work on reauthorizing the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI):

I very much want reauthorization before the end of the year. I think the Commerce Committee, Chairman [Jay] Rockefeller and others, have felt strongly about this and have watched this sort of bump up against the schedule again and again and again …

If ever there was a bipartisan fit for the Senate right now, and a chance to put us on the right side in terms of taking bolder action in a tough international competition with Europe and Asia, this is the time, and that’s the case I’m going to be making.

I consider the 21st Century bill that I wrote nine years ago one of the most important things I’ve done in my time in public service. 

to training a workforce that will be able to fill the good paying jobs that nanoindustry is and will be offering now and in the future.…

2012 Regional, State and Local Initiatives in Nanotechnology Workshop

Today’s issue of the Federal Register carries a "Notice of Public Meeting", announcing the 2012 Regional, State and Local (RSL) Initiatives in Nanotechnology workshop, to be held 1-2 May in Portland, Oregon.

This workshop will bring together leaders of regional, state, and local organizations to engage in dialog with the Federal government; economic development groups; investors and entrepreneurs; technology leaders; and scientists and engineers from industry, business, government, and academia. The discussion will address a wide range of resource, organizational, and policy issues impacting RSL nanotechnology initiatives.  

Principal themes addressed in the workshop will include:

  • Current landscape of U.S. RSL nanotechnology initiatives and their health

  • Current Federal resources available for RSLs

  • RSL best practices, business models, and opportunities for partnering; and

  • Role of nanotechnology RSLs in future U.S. economic growth and job creation.

  •  

The workshop is cosponsored by the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) and theOregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institutes (ONAMI).

Anyone planning to attend the workshop is required to register, either online, via e-mail ( RSL12@nnco.nano.gov ) or via regular US mail (  RSL 2012 Workshop, c/o NNCO, 4201 Wilson Boulevard,  Stafford II, Suite 405, Arlington, VA 22230). Registration is on a "first come, first served" basis and runs from today, March 5, 2012 until 5PM April 27, 2012. Those interested in presenting 3-5 minutes of public comments at the meeting should also register at http://www.nano.gov/rslregistration. Written or  electronic comments should be submitted by email to RSL12@nnco.nano.gov  until April 27, 2012. The workshop …

International Symposium on Assessing the Economic Impact of Nanotechnology to be held March 2012

The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, in a "Notice of Public Meeting" published in the Federal Register of 02/02/2012, announced that on March 27-28 of this year, it would be holding an "International Symposium on Assessing the Economic Impact of Nanotechnology". The symposium, organized by the National Nanotechnology Initiative and theOrganization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The symposium will be hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington DC on March 27th and 28th from 8:30AM to 6PM.

The symposium will focus on

the scope of economic impacts of nanotechnology, input and output factors, metrics for other technological assessments, and consideration of the appropriateness of these metrics for nanotechnology materials and products. Topics addressed will include the role of research funding portfolios, intellectual property frameworks, venture capital, public-private partnerships, state and local initiatives, international cooperation, and metrics such as private sector and industry investments, patents and publications, and the development of a technologically-educated workforce as metrics for nanotechnology.

Confirmed as speakers at the symposium are:

  • Françoise Roure, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

  • Gregory Tassey, National Institute of Standards and Technology, United States

  • Mark Morrison, Institute for Nanotechnology, United Kingdom

  • Adalberto Fazzio, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Brazil

  • Kazunobu Tanaka, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Japan

  • Altaf Carim, Office of Science and Technology Policy, United States

  • Herbert von Bose, European Commission

  • Joseph Molapisi, Department of Science and Technology, South Africa

  • GV Ramaraju, Department of Information Technology, India

  • Tom Crawley, Spinverse

  • Philip Shapira,

Request for Public Comment on Draft NNI Strategy for Nanotechnology Related Environmental, Health and Safety Research

On 01/13/2011, the Office of Science and Technology Policy published a notice in the Federal Register extending the time for filing comments for the Draft NNI Strategy for Nanotechnology Related Environmental, Health and Safety Research to 01/21/2011. The 2011 Draft Strategy is designed to replace and update  the 2008 Strategy and is the product of a series of stakeholder workshops, responses to a request for information published in the Federal Register on 07/06/2010 and comments filed online in response to questions posted on the NNI Strategic Portal.

The Draft Strategy, dated 12/06/2010, notes NNI’s EHS "Research Strategy provides guidance to the federal agencies as they develop their agency specified nanotechnology EHS research priorities implementation plans, and timelines." Added to that guidance

. . . is the inclusion of ethical, legal and societal implications (ESLI) of EHS research. . . .How nanotechnology research and applications are introduced into society, how transparent decisions are; how sensitive and responsible policies are to the needs and perceptions of the full range of stakeholders; and how ethical, legal and social issues are address will determine public trust and the future of innovation driven by nanotechnology.

Chapter 1 of the draft is introductory. Chapter 2 discusses the need to develop "A Comprehensive Measurement Infrastructure Consisting of a Suite of Complementary Tools", defined here as protocols, standards (reference materials), instruments, models and Data (further defined as "benchmark data that have been measured using validated protocols and reference materials  . . . or other well-characterized test materials . . .for …

Senate Amends and Passes H.R. 5116 America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010

UPDATE

The House agreed to the Senate amendment to HR 5116 on 12/21/2010. We’ll discuss the implications of this in more detail after the Xmas holiday.

The Senate unanimously passed H.R. 5116 on Friday 12/17/2010, after first adopting an amendment in the nature of a substitute. As opposed to the version of H.R. 5116 that was passed in the House, the language of the amended version contains no provisions to reauthorize the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). As amended and passed by the Senate, the language of H.R. 5116 contains no references to nanotechnology at all.

The amended bill, basically a reduced version of S. 3605 as reported out of committee on 12/10/2010, reduces the amounts appropriated for various agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, from $84 billion to $43 billion over a three year period.

Having been passed by the Senate in an amended version, H.R. 5116 must now go back to the House for another vote to accept the Senate’s amendment. If this happens, then the bill will go to President Obama to be signed into law. However, if the House disagrees with the amendment, the bill would be sent to a Conference Committee, composed of Senators and Representatives appointed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, charged with the task of creating a comprise version that would be acceptable to both the House and Senate. It is possible that an amendment reauthorizing …

Request for Public Comments on the 2010 NNI Strategic Plan

Monday’s Federal Register carried a notice from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Nanoscience, Engineering and Technology Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council inviting the public to comment on the 2010 National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan.

The NNI Strategic Plan

 is the framework that underpins the nanotechnology work of the NNI member agencies. It aims to ensure that advances in nanotechnology research and development (R&D) and their applications to agency missions and the broader national interest continue unabated in this still-young field. Its purpose is to facilitate achievement of the NNI vision by laying out targeted guidance for agency leaders, program managers, and the research community regarding planning and implementation of nanotechnology R&D investments and activities.  

The NNI Strategic Plan represents the consensus of the participating agencies as to the high-level goals and priorities of the NNI and specific objectives for at least the next three years. It describes the four overarching goals of the NNI, the major Program Component Areas established in 2004 to broadly track the categories of investments needed to ensure the success of the initiative, and the near-term objectives that will be the concrete steps taken toward collectively achieving the NNI vision and goals. Finally, the plan describes collaborative interagency activities, including three Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives that are a new model of specifically targeted and closely coordinated interagency, cross-sector collaboration designed to accelerate innovation in areas of national priority.  

The 2010 Strategic Plan is the result of reviews …

NNI at 10

In an article in the September issue of Nature ("Nanotechnology: Small wonders"), Corie Lok reviews the beginnings and accomplishments of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) over the last ten years.

The article attributes the creation of the NNI to four factors:

– A booming US economy, particularly in the high tech sector

– Support from the Clinton administration as it entered its last year in office

– Developments within the then emerging science of nanotechnology that caught the public’s attention

– Visionary scientists and engineers who could clearly and in terms everyone could understand communicate what this new field of science was about and how it would benefit everyone. The late Dr. Richard Smalley and Mihail Roco are noted by Ms. Lok for their work in getting NNI started.

NNI’s success in creating research centers and legitimizing nanotech in the eyes of the general public, leading  to a flow of venture capital to start-up companies that planned to commercialize the results of nanotech research, is offset by what Lok and others consider its biggest flaw, a lack of focus on the possible adverse effects of nanomaterials on the environment and human health. NNI is now beginning to fund research in these areas.

As the article notes, NNI deserves a great deal of the credit for nurturing nanotechnology over the past decade. But as nanotech has begun to mature, expectations of returns on the investments of both public and private capital in the form of practical and commercial applications and products have …

Nanotechnology A Policy Primer

The Congressional Research Service, in March of this year, released a report, "Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer", written by John F. Sargent, Jr., a specialist in Science and Technology Policy. The primer’s first section focuses on a review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). A table showing funding from various government agencies and departments for NNI shows that from FY 2006 to FR 2010, the Department of Defense (DOD) has been the largest single source of funding. However, this is about to change. In FY 2011, DOD will fall to 4th place, preceded by the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This shifting of the majority of funding from DOD  may reflect a normal path of evolution; DOD has long been a source of funding for new technologies that eventually develop non-military uses. It may also reflect that future DOD budgets will not be as robust as they have been in the last few years.

Noting that "In the longer term, nanotechnology may deliver revolutionary advances with profound economic and societal implications", Part 2 of the CRS report considers briefly area that may be most affected by nanotech:

Detection and treatment technologies for cancer

"Clean, inexpensive, renewable power through energy creation, storage and transmission technologies"

Universal Access to clean water supplies, both in the US and less developed nations:  " Nanotechnology water desalination and filtration systems may offer affordable, scalable and portable water filtration systems".

"High density memory devices", improving the performance of computers and other devices.…

President’s Council Evaluates National Nanotechnology Initiative

This article originally appeared on the National Nanomanufacturing Network’s InterNano website earlier today. It is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.

Maxine Savitz[1] and Ed Penhoe[2] provided a recent presentation summarizing the highlights of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)[3] report on the status of the US National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) at a public meeting held at the National Academics on March 12, 2010.

Ms. Savitz provided a brief review at the beginning of the presentation regarding how, when, and why NNI was formed; its history from 2000 – 2010; and some of the participants in the PCAST review process. Participants included representatives from DuPont, IBM, A123 Systems, Nanocomp Technologies, Rice, Harvard, Caltech, Sandia National Labs, and the Woodrow Wilson Institute. Ms Savitz also explained that the group held two prior working meetings to solicit input from government agencies, the legislative and executive branches, as well as outside stakeholders. Finally, she explained that PCAST’s report has three major thematic areas: NNI program management; NNI output and work product; and NNI environmental, health, and safety programs and strategies.

Ed Penhoet then provided an update regarding NNI’s continued successes. He noted that the US is currently the world leader in nanotechnology and commercialization, but that other nations are gaining fast — particularly in Asia and Europe. He further noted that NNI has had a substantial impact on the US nanotechnology industry over the past ten years, which can be seen in the larger number of nanotechnology patents …

Nanotechnology Insurance Issues

For anyone who might be interested, I will be speaking on nano-related insurance issues at the opening plenary of the National Nanotechnology Initiative’s upcoming Oct. 6 -7 conference and workshop on Nanomaterials and the Environment & Instrumentation.  The draft agenda for the conference can be found here, and the plenary is also supposed to be broadcast on the web.  I will post the information for the simulcast as we get closer to the conference date.  Cost, location, and registration info. is here.…

Private Spending on Nano Exceeds Government Spending for First Time

Chemical Business NewsBase recently published an article comparing global private funding to government funding for nanotechnology research, development, and commercialization. The article cites Lux Research figures indicating that private funding for nanotechnology reached $9.6 billion in 2008, while government investment was $8.6 billion. According to the article, this was the first year that private spending exceeded public spending. Lux also estimates that nanotechnology-enabled products will constitute a $3.1 trillion market by 2015.

It is interesting to remember that a decade ago, advocates for dramatically increased federal funding of nanotechnology efforts argued that once nanotechnology is firmly established as a field of commerce, federal investment would be dwarfed by private research and development which was estimated would be 10% of ultimate sales revenues. Advocates of the National Nanotechnology Initiative took the position that the federal government should stimulate and support basic nanotechnology research until such time as private commercialization takes root at this level. Annual global government research, development, and commercialization was then estimated at a mere $432 million.

 …

Spheres of Influence

The April issue of Environmental Health Perspectives carried an interesting article by Charles W. Schmidt,  "Nanotechnology Related Environment, Health, and Safety Research: Examining the National Strategy". The article looks at what could be a disturbing development, that

Experts in nanotoxicity and risk assessment have become increasingly polarized, represented on one side by the National Research Council (NRC) and on the other by the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI).

Schmidt’s article notes that this polarization began after the Nanotechnology Environmental And Health Implications (NEHI) Working Group, part of NNI, released Strategy for Nanotechnology Related Environmental Health and Safety Research in February 2008. The report presented the then Bush Administration’s agenda for studying nanoparticle hazards and was developed and written after "extensive consultations with regulatory agencies, research organizations, the business community and non-governmental organizations". The report reflected the concerns of the established stakeholders in nanotechnology.

In February 2009, an NRC assembled panel released its own report

. . .  describing what it calls serious short comings in the strategy document. According to the NRC panel . . . the strategy exposes weaknesses in the government’s understanding of potential nanotechnology risks today and doesnot adequately address how they will be assessed in the future.

. . . NRC panelists would like to see a National Health based Strategy for nanotechnology research with defined goals, milestones, and mechanisms for assessing progress. . . . The need isn’t just to insure the safety of nano-enabled products, but also to avert a public backlash against the technology, which could …

NNI Reauthorization Reintroduced

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.…

UPDATE: NNI Bill in Senate

The saga of the status of the NNI Reauthorization Bill in the Senate, S. 3274, continues.  Remember we provided information previously about the status of reauthorization and the dangers involved in letting the legislation lapse.

The NanoBusiness Alliance is reporting that the markup for the bill is now scheduled for September, but no further information is given.  Keep an eye out for movement (hopefully) next month on NNI reauthorization legislation.…

NNI Reauthorization Stalling in Senate

Today’s lesson is: never count your chickens before they hatch.  You’ll remember a few months back, the House overwhelmingly passed legislation reauthorizing the National Nanotechnology Initiative, and slightly modifying some of the work they do.  At the time, I surmised (to myself) that passage through the Senate was likely to be quick.  Perhaps not.…

House Committee Passes NNI Reauthorization

On May 7, 2008 the House Committee on Science and Technology unanimously approved H.R. 5940, the National Nanotechnology Initiative Amendments Act of 2008.  The bill now moves onto the full House, and then Senate for full consideration.  As stated by the Committee, "H.R. 5940, does not substantially alter NNI, but makes adjustments to some of the priorities of the program and strengthens one of the core components – environmental and safety research."

The full text of the bill can be found here, and we now wait to see what the full House will do with the bill.  However, the fact that H.R. 5940 is receiving bi-partisan support in committee, and was referred back to the full House so quickly (the bill was originally introduced on May 1, 2008), is positive for future action.…

The National Nanotechnology Initiative Amendments Act of 2008

The House Science and Technology Committee will hear testimony on the NNI Amendments Act of 2008 on April 16, 2008.  Those scheduled to speak before the committee include:

  • Floyd Kvamme, co-chairman of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology;
  • Sean Murdock, executive director of the NanoBusiness Alliance;
  • Joseph Krajcik, associate dean for research and professor of education at the University of Michigan;
  • Andrew Maynard, chief science advisor for the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies;
  • Raymond David, manager of toxicology for the BASF Corporation;
  • Robert Doering, senior fellow and research strategy manager at Texas Instruments

This full-committee hearing will begin at 10:00 AM in 2318 Rayburn House Office Building.…

Federal Nanotechnology “Roadmap”

In a strange twist of bureaucratic overkill, Congress directed EPA to contract with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to develop a federal strategy for researching the environmental, health, and safety risks of nanotechnology.  Did you get that?  Congress is telling EPA to tell NAS to develop the research strategy.…

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