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Posted: Jun 06, 2013
U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative releases report on regional, state, and local nanotechnology initiatives
(Nanowerk News) The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) Workshop on Regional, State, and Local (RSL) Initiatives in Nanotechnology was held 1–2 May 2012 in Portland, Oregon. This was the fourth in a series of RSL workshops sponsored by the NNI since 2003.1 RSL organizations have vital roles in establishing the infrastructure, preparing the skilled workforce, and supporting the industries—especially startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs)—that are critical to building an economically viable nanotechnology innovation ecosystem in the United States. Supporting partnerships with such organizations has been a goal of the NNI since its inception.
The 2012 NNI RSL workshop was attended by representatives of RSL initiatives, as well as by many representatives of businesses, various levels of government, and the member agencies of the NNI—in all, 103 participants, as listed in Appendix B.
The workshop was dedicated to facilitating the sharing of relevant information and best practices among RSLs, and to continuing a dialog between RSL members and representatives of state and Federal NNI agencies concerning shared opportunities and mechanisms to advance commercialization of nanotechnology, to the benefit of all.
The workshop, as detailed in the agenda in Appendix A, comprised two days of plenary meetings, small-session discussions, and expert presentations and panels. It was preceded by an outstanding series of tours of several Portland “Silicon Forest,” nanotechnology-oriented businesses, startup support facilities, and advanced technology shared user facilities. It was followed on 3 May 2012 by a writing session to record the sense of the meeting and the recommendations of the participants.
This report of the workshop (pdf) is not intended to be a consensus document but rather is intended to capture both the areas of consensus and the range of individual opinions expressed by participants. One theme rose to the top: The continuing global economic downturn after 2008 and the demise of many previously solid RSL initiatives since the third NNI RSL workshop in 2009 gave a strong sense of urgency to the participants’ requests for more Federal attention to and matching financial support of the various regional, state, and local initiatives in nanotechnology.