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A Statement of Task The statements below introduce and present the statement of task for the Committee on Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative: Phase II. BACKGROUND The National Research Council will appoint a committee to conduct the next triennial NNI review as specified in the law. Pursuant to Section 5 of Public Law 108-153, the director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) has requested the next triennial review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). As noted in an earlier report (National Research Council, A Matter of Size: Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2006), 1 “the NNI is not a government research program per se, since it does not distribute research support to individual scientists or R&D centers and consortia. Rather, the NNI is a mechanism for the coordination of federal research interests in nanotechnology” (p. 1). The NNI has provided more than $12 billion in investments over the past decade. For the current study, the NNCO is particularly interested in examining the role of the NNI in maximizing opportunities to transfer selected technologies to the private sector (e.g., in electronics, structural materials, coatings); suggesting appropriate metrics for determining the impact of various nanotechnologies; comparing U.S. efforts to promote the development and utilization of various nanotechnologies with those of other countries; and reviewing NNI’s management and coordination of nanotechnology research across both civilian and military federal agencies. STATEMENT OF TASK The National Research Council will appoint a committee to conduct the next triennial NNI review as specified in the law. The overall objective for this NNI review is to make recommendations to the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee and the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office that will improve the value of the National Nanotechnology Initiative’s (NNI’s) strategy and portfolio for basic research, applied research, and applications of nanotechnology to advance the commercialization, manufacturing capability, national economy, and national security interest of the United States. Toward this objective the NNI review will include the tasks listed below. Examine the role of the NNI in maximizing opportunities to transfer selected technologies to the private sector, provide an assessment of how well the NNI is carrying out this role, and suggest new 1 Available at http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11752&page=1. 27
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mechanisms to foster transfer of technologies and improvements to NNI operations in this area where warranted; Assess the suitability of current procedures and criteria for determining progress towards NNI goals, suggest definitions of success and associated metrics, and provide advice on those organizations (government or non-government) that could perform evaluations of progress; and Review NNI’s management and coordination of nanotechnology research across both civilian and military federal agencies. 28