The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) has evolved over time in both structure and focus - with growing emphasis in recent years on environmental, health, and safety research, coordination among regulatory agencies, commercialization and advanced manufacturing at the nanoscale, and workforce training and education. These shifts and others are reflected in the 2014 NNI Strategic Plan, which describes a revised reporting structure for the NNI Program Component Areas, details a number of focused, topical Signature Initiatives, discusses the growing array of intersections with related Federal initiatives, and emphasizes growing activities and approaches to translation of investments in fundamental research to commercialization.
The NNI Strategic Plan is the framework supporting the vision for the NNI and underpins the nanotechnology work of the NNI agencies. It aims to ensure that advancements in and applications of nanotechnology continue in this vital area of R&D, while addressing potential concerns about future and existing applications. The strategic Plan facilitates achievement of the NNI vision and goals by laying out guidance for agency leaders, program managers, and the research community regarding planning and implementation of nanotechnology R&D investments and activities.
The vision of the NNI is a future in which the ability to understand and control matter at the nanoscale leading to revolutionary breakthroughs and developments in technology broadly benefitting society. The NNI expedites the discovery, development, and deployment of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology to serve the public good through a program of coordinated research and development activities aligned with the missions of the participating agencies. In order to realize the NNI vision, the NNI agencies are working collectively toward the following four goals:
- Goal 1: Advance a world-class nanotechnology research and development program.
- Goal 2: Foster the transfer of new technologies into products for commercial and public benefit.
- Goal 3: Develop and sustain educational resources, a skilled workforce, and a dynamic infrastructure and toolset to advance nanotechnology.
- Goal 4: Support responsible development of nanotechnology.
As the next chapter of the NNI begins to take shape, stakeholders in nanomanufacturing and nanotechnology will have the opportunity to contribute towards the vision and future focus of the NNI during the 2016 NNI Strategic Planning Stakeholder Workshop, May 19, 2016 - May 20, 2016 in Washington, D.C. The goal of this workshop is to obtain input from stakeholders – both those new to nanoscale science, engineering, and technology and those already familiar with these fields and with the NNI – regarding the vision for the second era of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, known as NNI 2.0. Participants will be invited to comment on key aspects of the 2016 NNI Strategic Plan. Topics covered may include future technical directions, implementation mechanisms, education and outreach activities, and approaches for fostering and sustaining commercialization.