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April 24, 2013

NRC Identifies Five High Priorities to Improve NNI

Lynn L. Bergeson

The National Research Council (NRC) announced on April 23, 2013, that its second triennial review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) identified five “cross-cutting, high-priority areas for focus and improvement for NNI going forward”:

  • Improve information gathering and communication at the project level;
  • Develop and implement interagency plans for focused areas;
  • Rework the NNI website to serve better the diversity of stakeholder groups;
  • Take advantage of new technologies for data collection and analysis; and
  • Identify, share, and implement best practices, especially relating to technology transfer and commercialization.

In its report, the NRC assesses NNI’s role in maximizing opportunities to transfer selected technologies to the private sector and suggests improvements and new mechanisms intended to foster technology transfer. The NRC evaluates the suitability of current procedures and criteria to determine progress toward NNI goals, and recommends “explicit definitions of success for and metrics associated with meeting those goals.” The NRC also reviews the NNI’s management and coordination of nanotechnology research across participating federal agencies.