USDA Announces Release of Report Charting Path to Commercialization of Cellulosic Nanomaterials
On November 24, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has released a report that details the pathway to commercializing affordable, renewable, and biodegradable cellulose nanomaterials from trees. The report, entitled Cellulose Nanomaterials — A Path Towards Commercialization, is the result of a May 2014 workshop that brought together a wide range of experts from industry, academia, and government to ensure that commercialization efforts are driven by market and user materials needs. The USFS, in collaboration with the National Nanotechnology Initiative, organized the workshop. Participants included over 130 stakeholders from large volume industrial users, specialty users, federal government agencies, academia, non-government organizations, cellulose nanomaterials manufacturers, and industry consultants. According to USDA, the workshop generated market-driven input in three areas: opportunities for commercialization; barriers to commercialization; and research and development roles and priorities. Issues identified by participants included the need for more data on materials’ properties, performance, and environmental, health, and safety implications, and the need for a more aggressive U.S. response to opportunities for advancing and developing cellulose nanomaterial.