National Nanotechnology Initiative

National Nanotechnology Initiative – United States

Launched in 2000 with eight agencies, the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) consists of the individual and cooperative nanotechnology-related activities of 26 Federal agencies with a range of research and regulatory roles and responsibilities. Fifteen of the participating agencies have research and development (R&D) budgets that relate to nanotechnology, with the reported NNI budget representing the collective sum of these investments. Funding support for nanotechnology R&D stems directly from NNI member agencies, not the NNI. As an interagency effort, the NNI informs and influences the Federal budget and planning processes through its member agencies and through the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). The NNI brings together the expertise needed to advance this broad and complex field—creating a framework for shared goals, priorities, and strategies that help each participating Federal agency leverage the resources of all participating agencies. With the support of the NNI, nanotechnology R&D is taking place in academic, government, and industry laboratories across the United States.


  –  National Nanotechnology Initiative

Organization Goals:

The NNI expedites the discovery, development and deployment of nanoscale science and technology to serve the public good, through a program of coordinated research and development aligned with the missions of the participating agencies. These agencies work to fulfill the NNI vision by working together to accomplish four primary goals:
1. To advance world-class nanotechnology research and development;
2. To foster the transfer of new technologies into products for commercial and public benefit;
3. To develop and sustain educational resources, a skilled workforce and the supporting infrastructure and tools to advance nanotechnology; and
4. To support the responsible development of nanotechnology. 

NNI Centers and Networks of Excellence:

Government funds for nanotechnology research have created some of the most sophisticated nanoscience laboratories in the world. In addition to providing the facilities, the NNI also has created programs to attract researchers across an array of disciplines to facilitate discoveries. Centers and networks provide opportunities and support for multidisciplinary research among investigators from a variety of disciplines and from different research sectors, including academia, industry and government laboratories. Such multidisciplinary research not only leads to advances in knowledge but also fosters relationships that enhance the transition of basic research results to devices and other applications. The multidisciplinary centers are listed below, organized by funding agency:

Department of Defense

National Institutes of Health

NHLBI Programs of Excellence in Nanotechnology 

Nanomedicine Development Centers

National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence

NCI Cancer Nanotechnology Training Centers

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

National Institute of Standards and Technology (Department of Commerce)

National Science Foundation with the Environmental Protection Agency

National Science Foundation

Engineering Research Center

Science and Technology Center

Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers

Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSECs)

These four MRSECs are fully dedicated to nanotechnology research:

In addition, many other MRSECs have one or more interdisciplinary research group(s) focused on nanoscale science and engineering topics:

NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Networks

(Content source: NNI website and press releases.)

Nanoparticle. Image Credit: National Nanotechnology Initiative

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