organize regional competitive clusters for the development of nanoscale science and technology. Nanoscale science and technology are ultimately about industrial competitive position, and the defining benefit is economic, as new technologies and products move from laboratories to commercial reality. The key to commercial success is to have processes that accelerate nanotechnology ideas into the commercial mainstream, thereby providing a timely return on the national investment in nanoscale science and technology.
Recommendation 9: The committee recommends that NSET develop a new funding strategy to ensure that the societal implications of nanoscale science and technology become an integral and vital component of the NNI. This is critical, because our success in developing, deploying, and exploiting nanotechnologies will require synchronous innovation in how we educate and train our workforce, manage our R&D system, and prepare for and adjust to the expected and unexpected social and economic impacts of the new technologies. Activities supported by the societal implications thrust area will help to ensure that this “second industrial revolution” produces social and economic as well as technical benefits.
Recommendation 10: The committee recommends that NSET develop performance metrics to assess the effectiveness of the NNI in meeting its objectives and goals. This should be done under the aegis of the OSTP. Measurable factors include quality, relevance, productivity, resources, and movement of research concepts toward applications. These factors should be developed with the advice of an appropriate advisory council, perhaps the suggested NNAB, in conjunction with the various agencies involved in the NNI.