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The National Nanotechnology Initiative's (NNI) released four reports today that are the result of a series of workshops focusing on various issues in the nanotechnology environmental, health, and safety (EHS) arena. The "nanoEHS" workshop series was a part of an ongoing strategy to coordinate nanotechnology-related EHS research by convening experts from industry, academia, and the Federal Government to share the latest information and newest developments, to discuss the current state-of-the-science, and to identify research gaps in the nanotechnology-related EHS field. The knowledge gleaned from the nanoEHS workshop series was critical to the development of the soon-to-be-released, updated NNI EHS Research Strategy.
"These four reports detail the process by which we examined the 2008 EHS Research Strategy and the information and data in the EHS and ELSI arenas to consider the best path forward for nanotechnology," said Dr. Sally Tinkle, Acting Director and EHS Coordinator for the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office. "The nanoEHS workshops, along with advice from the National Academies and the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), culminated in the development of an updated EHS Research Strategy for the NNI, which will guide the responsible development of nanotechnology."
Through four separate workshops, experts examined the following areas:
Nanomaterials and Human Health & Instrumentation, Metrology, and Analytics
Nanomaterials and the Environment & Instrumentation, Metrology, and Analytics
Human and Environmental Exposure Assessment
Risk Management Methods & Ethical, Legal, and Societal Implications of Nanotechnology
The Obama Administration is committed to supporting significant research into the potential EHS impacts of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is an exciting field of research that has great scientific and economic potential because of its ability to create new materials with novel properties for application in such diverse fields as electronics and computing, alternative energy, and medicine.
The U.S. is a global leader in nanotechnology-related EHS R&D. Federal research dedicated to nanotechnology-related EHS grew substantially from $34.8 million in FY 2005 to a requested $123.5 million for FY 2012, totaling $575 million cumulatively.
About The National Nanotechnology Initiative’s (NNI)
The United States has set the pace for nanotechnology innovation worldwide with the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). Launched in 2000 with eight agencies, the NNI today consists of the individual and cooperative nanotechnology-related activities of 25 Federal agencies with a range of research and regulatory roles and responsibilities. Fifteen of the participating agencies have research and development (R&D) budgets that relate to nanotechnology, with the reported NNI budget representing the collective sum of these investments. Funding support for nanotechnology R&D stems directly from NNI member agencies, not the NNI. As an interagency effort, the NNI informs and influences the Federal budget and planning processes through its member agencies and through the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). The NNI brings together the expertise needed to advance this broad and complex field—creating a framework for shared goals, priorities, and strategies that helps each participating Federal agency leverage the resources of all participating agencies. With the support of the NNI, nanotechnology R&D is taking place in academic, government, and industry laboratories across the United States.
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