Issue Date: May 19, 2008
Nanotech Program Reauthorization Set
The House Committee on Science & Technology approved legislation on May 7 that aims to strengthen and improve the multiagency National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). H.R. 5940, the NNI Amendments Act of 2008, puts more emphasis on environmental and safety research and shifts priorities away from basic research and toward activities more likely to lead to commercial products. "With regard to risk-reduction research, a key provision of the bill is to require that NNI develop a plan for the environmental and safety research component, and a road map for implementing it, which includes explicit near-term and long-term goals and the funding required, by goal and by agency," committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) said. To capture the economic benefits of nanotechnology, the bill calls for increased support for nanotech projects under the Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Technology Innovation Program. The legislation also addresses future workforce needs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by promoting partnerships between nanotech facilities and secondary schools through NSF's Math & Science Partnership program.
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