National Nanotechnology Initiative

National Nanotechnology Initiative – United States

The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) is a U.S. Government research and development (R&D) initiative. Over thirty Federal departments, independent agencies, and commissions work together toward the shared vision of a future in which the ability to understand and control matter at the nanoscale leads to ongoing revolutions in technology and industry that benefit society. The NNI enhances interagency coordination of nanotechnology R&D, supports a shared infrastructure, enables leveraging of resources while avoiding duplication, and establishes shared goals, priorities, and strategies that complement agency-specific missions and activities.


  –  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. 

Networks and Communities:

NextTech Student Network – A network of student-run clubs at universities and colleges across the country. Activities include the annual Student Leaders Conference, a monthly newsletter, professional development webinars, and a LinkedIn group.

U.S.-EU NanoEHS Communities of Research – The U.S.-EU NanoEHS Communities of Research provide a platform for scientists to collaboratively identify and address key research questions about the potential environmental, health, and safety (EHS) implications of nanomaterials through community-led activities, such as conference calls, webinars, publications, and annual in-person meetings.

Centers and Institutes in the United States:

Investment in nanotechnology in the United States occurs through many government agencies. The multidisciplinary research that is supported not only leads to advances in knowledge but also fosters relationships that enhance the transition of basic research results to consumer goods and other applications. A list of institutes and centers supported by the United States government is provided below, and is organized by funding agency:

Department of Defense

National Institutes of Health

Nanomedicine Development Centers

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

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)

In addition, many other MRSECs have activities related to nanotechnology or have transitioned into related efforts on nanoscale science and engineering:

NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Networks

(Content source: NNI website, press releases and internet searches.)

Nanoparticle. Image Credit: National Nanotechnology Initiative

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