In celebration of the 20-year anniversary of the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) are announcing a series of events to drive U.S. leadership in nanotechnology.
For the past two decades, the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) has worked with more than 20 departments and agencies to advance a vision to understand and control matter at the nanoscale, for the benefit of society. Coordination across the government has allowed Americans to safely enjoy the benefits of nanotechnology, which has led to revolutions in technology and industry, including faster microchips, powerful mRNA vaccines, and clean energy technologies. Meanwhile, carbon nanotubes have improved the power and lifecycle of batteries; quantum dots make flat screen TVs more vibrant; and nanoparticles allow for faster medical diagnostics.
“Over the years, the NNI has dynamically and responsibly responded to the needs of the country,” said Dr. Branden Brough, Director of NNCO, which coordinates the NNI. “The initiative is a model for collaborative and thoughtful technology development, while supporting the rapid development of other emerging fields by creating the infrastructure and workforce development programs that bolster these growing industries.”
The NNI community will host a symposium on March 5, 2024 at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, D.C., to recognize the impact of research and development at the nanoscale and plan the NNI’s promising future. The event is open to the public. To learn more and register to attend, visit the symposium’s website.
This week, as we celebrate the Act’s signing, the NNCO will release a series of reports and stories that illustrate the impact of the NNI. This includes readouts from the Nano4EARTH roundtable discussions about applying nanotechnology solutions to address climate change, such as surface technologies, new batteries and energy storage solutions, and greenhouse gas capture approaches. Also, the NNCO will highlight a new independent study about how the U.S. nanotechnology community contributes tens of billions of dollars—and potentially hundreds of billions of dollars—to the economy each year. And, to highlight the importance of this growing field, NNCO will feature the stories of early-career scientists who represent the promising future of nanotechnology.
Additional events will be held during the coming months, including science cafes across the country, activities at local museums, and podcasts and articles in the media. For more information about these activities, visit the NNI website.