This month on July 13-14th I had the honor of attending the National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Planning Stakeholder Workshop in Arlington, VA. We started the morning of July 13th with 4 Keynote Speakers who are leaders in the Nanotechnology Community:

– Dr. E. Clayton Teague, Director, National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO)
– Travis Earles, Assistant Director, Nanotechnology, Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)
– Dr. Mihail Roco, National Science Foundation (NSF)
– George Thompson, PhD, Government Programs Manager, Intel

I encourage you to view the webcast of the event. After lunch we broke into 4 groups working on each of the following NNI Goals:

Goal 1 – Advance a world-class nanotechnology research and development program
Discussion leader: Norman Scott, Cornell University
– George Adams, Network for Computational Nanotechnology
– Vinothan Manoharan, Harvard University
Questions to be discussed (tentative):
– Where should the NNI research be distributed on Pasteur’s Quadrant? (i.e., what is the appropriate mix of basic and applied research)?

Goal 2 – Foster the transfer of new technologies into products for commercial and public benefit
Discussion leader: John Cowie, American Forestry and Paper Association
– Shaun Clancy, Evonik
– Sean Murdock, NanoSonix
– John Randall, Zyvex
Questions to be discussed (tentative):
– Are there new forms of public/private partnerships that you could recommend to improve commercialization?

Goal 3 – Develop and sustain educational resources, a skilled workforce and the supporting infrastructure and tools to advance nanotechnology
Discussion leader: James Murday, University of Southern California
– Vincent Caprio, NanoBusiness Alliance
– Charles Gause, Luna Innovations
– Kristen Kulinowski, Rice University
– Stephen Fonash, Pennsylvania State University
Questions to be discussed (tentative):
– How should the NNI infrastructure be adapted to respond to future needs?

Goal 4 – Support responsible development of nanotechnology
Discussion leader: Richard Canady, International Life Science Institute/Research Foundation
– Alison Elder, University of Rochester
– Amy Jones, Applied NanoStructured Solutions
– Pat Mooney, ETC
– Dietram Scheufele, University of Wisconsin
Questions to be discussed (tentative):
– How do we develop appropriate risk analysis to ensure maximum benefit for society?
– How do we engage stakeholders in both anticipatory and participatory governance (in the context of the NNI) regarding the future of nanotechnology?

Overarching questions for all breakout groups:
– With respect to this goal, what has the NNI done right and what should it continue doing?
– With respect to this goal, where has the NNI headed down the wrong path?
– What can the NNI do in the future to address this goal?

After an hour of public comment, we had a networking reception with over 100 leaders of the Nanotechnology Community.

Day two, July 14th, opened with 3 Keynote Speakers:

– Congressman, Daniel Lipinski Congressman Lipinski earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University, a Master’s Degree in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University, and a PhD in Political Science from Duke University. The Congressman is a big supporter of nanotechnology.
– Paul Alivisatos, PhD, Director, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley
– James R. Heath, PhD, Professor of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology

Then, we went back to our groups to reprise discussion of goals from day 1 breakout groups as well as discussions on implementation of goals and objectives.

Additional news announced from the NNI Event was the launch of the National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategy Portal.

This portal is designed to enable you to provide input and feedback on the National Nanotechnology Initiative and its Strategic Plan. The NNI is the $1.76 billion dollar multi-agency Federal research and development initiative focused since 2001 on nanotechnology innovation. In December 2010, NNI will publish a new strategic plan, outlining priorities and objectives for the next 5-10 years. The goals of the plan are:
Goal 1: Advance a world-class nanotechnology research and development program.
Goal 2: Foster the transfer of new technologies into products for commercial and public benefit.
Goal 3: Develop and sustain educational resources, a skilled workforce, and the supporting infrastructure and tools to advance nanotechnology.
Goal 4: Support responsible development of nanotechnology.

In order to develop a well-informed and effective plan, we need your input whether you are a policymaker, scientist, student or an entrepreneur. This portal enables you to respond to and discuss specific NNI questions covering themes such as research priorities, investment, coordination, partnerships, evaluation, and policy. Please sign in or register for a new account.

I enjoyed my discussions in Washington reviewing the last 10 years of the NNI and US strategic planning for the next 10 years.


Vincent Caprio “Serving the Nanotechnology Community for Over a Decade”
Executive Director
NanoBusiness Alliance