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Posted: Feb 28, 2014

U.S. government releases 2014 National Nanotechnology Strategic Plan

(Nanowerk News) The 2014 National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan (pdf) updates and replaces the prior NNI Strategic Plan released in February of 2011. As called for in the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act (Public Law 108-153, 15 USC §7501), the NNI Strategic Plan describes the NNI vision and goals and the strategies by which these goals are to be achieved, including specific objectives within each of the goals. Also as called for in the Act, the Plan describes the NNI investment strategy and the investment categories, known as the program component areas (PCAs), used in the annual NNI budget crosscut.
2014 National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan
The National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan is the framework that 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. Its purpose is to facilitate 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 NSET Subcommittee solicited multiple streams of input to inform the development of this revised NNI Strategic Plan. Independent reviews of the NNI by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the National Research Council of the National Academies—strongly supportive of the NNI overall—have made specific recommendations for improving the Initiative.3 Additional input came from the 2013 NNI Strategic Planning Stakeholder Workshop on June 11–12, 2013, as well as from detailed responses from the public to targeted questions that were published on from June 7, 2013 to June 14, 2013.4 The draft strategic plan was posted on for a 30-day public comment period from November 19 to December 18, 2013.

Thus informed by feedback and recommendations from a broad array of stakeholders, this strategic plan represents the consensus of the participating agencies as to the high-level goals and priorities of the NNI and specific objectives for at least the next three years. It serves as an integrated, interagency approach that informs the nanotechnology-specific strategic plans of NNI agencies (e.g., the Strategic Plan for NIOSH Nanotechnology Research and Guidance,5 the EPA’s Nanomaterial Research Strategy,6 and the FDA’s Nanotechnology Regulatory Science Research Plan7).
Accordingly, the strategic plan provides the framework within which each agency will carry out its own mission-related nanotechnology programs and that will sustain coordination of interagency activities. It describes the four overarching goals of the NNI, the major program component areas (PCAs)—established in 2004 and revised in 2013—that are used to broadly track the categories of investments needed to ensure the success of the Initiative, and the near-term objectives that provide concrete steps toward collectively achieving the NNI vision and goals.
Finally, the plan describes collaborative interagency activities. These include Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives (NSIs), which serve as a model of specifically targeted and closely coordinated interagency, cross-sector collaboration designed to accelerate innovation in areas of national priority.
Source: National Science and Technology Council
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