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March 3, 2014

NNCO Releases 2014 NNI Strategic Plan

Lynn L. Bergeson

On February 28, 2014, the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) announced the release of the 2014 National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) Strategic Plan.  The NNI Strategic Plan represents the consensus of the participating agencies as to the high-level goals and priorities of the NNI and specific objectives for at least the next three years.  It is intended to provide an integrated, interagency approach informing the nanotechnology-specific strategic plans of NNI agencies.  The Strategic Plan describes the four overarching goals of the NNI, the major program component areas (PCAs) used to track the categories of investments needed to ensure the success of the NNI, and the near-term objectives that provide concrete steps toward collectively achieving the NNI vision and goals.  The Strategic Plan also describes collaborative interagency activities, including Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives (NSIs), which serve as a model of specifically targeted and closely coordinated interagency, cross-sector collaboration designed to accelerate innovation in areas of national priority.  The first three NSIs, launched in 2010, are focused on solar energy, sustainable manufacturing, and next-generation electronics.  In 2012, two additional NSIs on informatics and sensors were introduced. The goals of the NNI are to:

  • Advance a world-class nanotechnology research and development program;
  • Foster the transfer of new technologies into products for commercial and public benefit;
  • Develop and sustain educational resources, a skilled workforce, and a dynamic infrastructure and toolset to advance nanotechnology; and
  • Support responsible development of nanotechnology.