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May 30, 2013

NNI Publishes Report on RSL Initiatives in Nanotechnology

Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 17, 2013, the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) published a report on regional, state, and local (RSL) initiatives in nanotechnology. The report is the result of a workshop, convened May 1-2, 2012, and sponsored by the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council and the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute. The goal of the workshop was to improve the outcomes of nanotechnology research, education, and business activities undertaken to advance nanotechnology. The report states that the strategy for achieving this goal is “to exploit synergies between the various initiatives, promote sharing of information and resources, and develop ongoing mechanisms for relevant interactions.” The report is not intended to be a consensus document. It states that one theme rose to the top, however: “The continuing global economic downturn after 2008 and the demise of many previously sold RSL initiatives since the third NNI RSL workshop in 2009 gave a strong sense of urgency to the participants’ requests for more Federal attention to and matching financial support of the various regional, state, and local initiatives in nanotechnology.” The report includes recommendations in the following categories: commercialization; collaboration; policy; workforce; support for RSL initiatives; and RSL roadmapping. It also includes a “’Next Steps’ category to capture activities that can be begun immediately to keep interested parties in touch with one another.”