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January 22, 2009

NNI Reauthorization Legislation Introduced In House Committee

Lynn L. Bergeson

On January 15, 2009, Representative Bart Gordon (D-TN), Chair of the House Science Committee, introduced the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) Amendments Act of 2009 (H.R. 554). The bill is identical to H.R. 5940, which passed the House in the previous Congress with a 407-6 vote. The legislation would reauthorize the multi-agency research program that Congress established in 2003 through the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of 2003 (Pub. Law 108-153). Under the Act, federal agencies would be required to develop a research plan and implementation strategy that specifies near- and long-term goals, sets milestones and time frames for meeting near-term goals, clarifies agencies’ roles in implementing the plan, and allocates sufficient resources to accomplish those goals. The bill would authorize funding for research in areas of national need, such as research to develop renewable energy and batteries that could store energy more efficiently, and would direct agencies to take steps to help private companies commercialize nanotechnology applications.