mental and Health Implications (NEHI), on Nanomanufacturing, and on Industry Liaison. By the time of the 2007 NNI strategic plan, the NSET Subcommittee had formed four working groups: NEHI remained, a merged Nanomanufacturing and Industry Liaison working group was renamed Nanomanufacturing, Industry Liaison, and Innovation (NILI), a new Global Issues in Nanotechnology (GIN) group, and a new Nanotechnology Public Engagement and Communications (NPEC) group. Membership in the working groups is open to all NNI member agencies.

As required by statute, the NSET Subcommittee develops and publishes a triennial strategic plan. The first, released in 2004, created the vision, goals, and categories of investment, or program component areas (PCAs), that are still in place with only minor adjustment. The PCA that comprised environmental, health, and safety (EHS), education, and societal implications was divided earlier to report EHS as a separate category. The four NNI goals are listed below:


1.    Advance world-class nanotechnology research and development.

2.    Foster the transfer of new technologies into products for commercial and public benefit.

3.    Develop and sustain educational resources, a skilled workforce, and the supporting infrastructure and tools to advance nanotechnology.

4.    Support the responsible development of nanotechnology.


Later strategic plans have retained the original vision and four goals, but there have been changes and additions. These successive strategic plans do not seem to be updated with respect to progress made since previous plans. In the 2008 strategic plan, the single PCA on societal dimensions was split into two: one containing EHS and one containing education and societal dimensions. Also in 2008, high-impact application opportunities and examples of critical research needs were added. The 2011 strategic plan included more detailed objectives for each goal, some of which are quantitative. Also new was an emphasis on collaborative agency activities, most notably the signature initiatives, “areas ripe for significant advances through close and targeted program-level interagency collaboration to enable the rapid advancement of science and technology in the service of national economic, security, and environmental goals by focusing resources on critical challenges and R&D gaps.”5

Today, there are five signature initiatives:


•    Nanotechnology for Solar Energy Collection and Conversion: Contributing to Energy Solutions for the Future.

•    Sustainable Nanomanufacturing: Creating the Industries of the Future.

•    Nanoelectronics for 2020 and Beyond.


5 NSTC, National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan, 2011, p. 39.

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