National Nanotechnology Initiative

The National Nanotechnology Initiative is a United States federal government program for the science, engineering, and technology research and development for nanoscale projects. “The NNI serves as the central point of communication, cooperation, and collaboration for all Federal agencies engaged in nanotechnology research, bringing together the expertise needed to advance this broad and complex field.”[2] Initiative participants (cited below) state that its four goals are to

  1. advance a world-class nanotechnology research and development (R&D) program;
  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; and
  4. support responsible development of nanotechnology.

NNI's 2014 enacted budget by agency.[1]

  NIH $441.5M (28.7%)
  NSF $440M (26.7%)
  Energy $303.3M (19.7%)
  Defense $175.9M (11.4%)
  NIST $97.8M (6.4%)
  Homeland Security $24.0M (1.6%)
  Agriculture $19.1M (1.2%)
  NASA $17.9M (1.2%)
  FDA $17.0M (1.1%)
  EPA $15.5M (1.0%)
  Other (0.99999999999999%)


Mihail C. Roco proposed the initiative in a 1999 presentation to the White House in the Clinton administration.[3]; [4]; [5]; [6]

President Bill Clinton advocated nanotechnology development. In a 21 January 2000 speech at the California Institute of Technology, Clinton stated that "Some of our research goals may take twenty or more years to achieve, but that is precisely why there is an important role for the federal government."

President George W. Bush further increased funding for nanotechnology. On December 3, 2003 Bush signed into law the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act (Public Law 108-153 ), which authorizes expenditures for five of the participating agencies totaling $3.63 billion over four years.. This law is an authorization, not an appropriation, and subsequent appropriations for these five agencies have not met the goals set out in the 2003 Act. However, there are many agencies involved in the Initiative that are not covered by the Act, and requested budgets under the Initiative for all participating agencies in Fiscal Years 2006 - 2015 totaled over $1 billion each.

In February 2014, the National Nanotechnology Initiative released a Strategic Plan outlining updated goals and "program component areas" ," as required under the terms of the Act. This document supersedes the NNI Strategic Plans released in 2004 and 2007.

The NNI's budget supplement proposed by the Obama administration for Fiscal Year 2015 provides $1.5 billion in requested funding. The cumulative NNI investment since fiscal year 2001, including the 2015 request, totals almost $21 billion. Cumulative investments in nanotechnology-related environmental, health, and safety research since 2005 now total nearly $900 million. The Federal agencies with the largest investments are the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. [7]

See also


  1. "National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI): Supplement to the President's FY 2015 Budget" (PDF). Office of Science and Technology Policy. March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  2. "About the NNI | Nano".
  3. Dr. Mihail C. Roco: Senior Advisor for Nanotechnology, National Science Foundation Archived 11 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine at NSF Directorate of Engineering website
  4. M.C. Roco, R.S. Williams, and P. Alivisatos. Nanotechnology Research Directions: Vision for Nanotechnology R&D in the Next Decade. National Science and Technology Council, White House 1999, reprinted Springer 2000,
  5. M.C. Roco, C.A. Mirkin, and M.C. Hersam. Nanotechnology Research Directions for Societal Needs in 2020: Retrospective and Outlook, Springer 2011,
  6. M.C. Roco, W.S. Bainbridge, B. Tonn, and G. Whitesides. Convergence of Knowledge, Technology, and Society: Beyond Convergence of NANO-BIO-INFO-COGNITIVE Technologies, Springer, 2013,
  7. NNI Supplement to the President's Budget for Fiscal Year 2015

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