I had the opportunity to attend the Congressional Science and Technology Subcommittee’s hearing review of The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). At the NNI hearing, Nanotechnology Icon, Dr. Clayton Teague http://www.tappi.org/content/events/08nano/teague.pdf, informed the Subcommittee he was leaving his post as the Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO), a position he has held since April 2003. Dr. Teague has served America in various positions in the US Government for the last 39 years.

Now, for the review of Thursday, April 14th.

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on NNI Oversight

On April 14, 2011, the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Science Education held a hearing entitled “Nanotechnology: Oversight of the National Nanotechnology Initiative and Priorities for the Future.” Witnesses included:

– Dr. Clayton Teague, Director, National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO);
– Dr. Jeffrey Welser, Director, Nanoelectronics Research Initiative, Semiconductor Research Corporation;
– Dr. Seth Rudnick, Chairman of the Board, Liquidia Technologies;
– Dr. James Tour, Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Rice University; and
– Mr. William Moffitt, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nanosphere, Inc.

The witnesses emphasized the need for Congress to continue robust funding for the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) to ensure that the US remains the global leader in nanotechnology. Other countries, such as Japan, China, and South Korea have increased their investment in nanotechnology and are showing corresponding increases in publication and patent rates. Dr. Teague noted that by current estimates, the 2010 nanotechnology funding for the European Community totaled $2.6B US, exceeding the NNI total of $1.9B. The witnesses encouraged the Subcommittee to continue supporting basic research while also directly promoting technology transfer, for example through expanded use of public-private partnerships. The speakers from industry noted that NNI investments in their companies have generated handsome returns on investment in the form of private follow-on funding, job creation, and cost-saving product or process improvements.

Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL), Chair of the Subcommittee, thanked Dr. Teague for his eight years of service as Director of the NNCO. Dr Teague’s last day as Director was April 15, 2011.

I have attended four of these types of hearings during the last 10 years. This review was very focused with the witnesses explaining how a variety of products developed through the Science of Nanotechnology have impacted America.

Another take away from the hearing is that 2011-2012 US NNI funding is budgeted for $2.1 Billion and the European Union funding is budgeted for $2.6 Billion. I spoke at the German House in NYC http://www.germany.info/Vertretung/usa/en/__events/GKs/NEWY/2011/04/13__Nanovation.html on Wednesday night April 13th and I saw first-hand the progress they are making in Germany.

The NanoBusiness Commercialization Association would like to thank Dr. Teague for his service to the NNI and America. We offer Dr. Teague and his family Best Wishes on the next chapter in his life.


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