NANO: U.S. Federal Nanotechnology Research Initiative?

The Baileys (
Sun, 21 Mar 1999 19:12:25 -0500

The February 11, 1999 issue of the _Federal Technology Report_ had a piece by Neil MacDonald titled "Nanotechnology May Be Target for New Federal Research Push". Evidently, federal r&d officials are discussing the possibility of organizing a national nanotechnology research iniative, similar to the Information Technology Initiative for the 21st Century (IT2) that was announced last month by Al Gore. IT2 has some fiscal reality to it since it was included in the 2000 federal budget request submitted by Clinton this year.

Nanotechnology and nanoscience in general seems to be reaching a new level of visibility within the federal r&d environment. In January of this year, the NSF held a "Vision for Nanotechnology R&D in the Next Decade" workshop. It was revealed at that workshop that the DOE, NIH, NSF and NASA are considering coordinated nanotechnology research initiatives.

Any nanotechnology research initiative wouldn't be included in the 2000 budget may have a realistic chance of making it into the 2001 budget. Thomas Kalil, a senior director for economic policy at the White House Economic Council issued, in MacDonald's words, a "clarion call" for a nationa nanotechnology research initiative. If Al Gore becomes President we should be virtually assured of having a nanotechnology research iniative by 2002 at the latest. Gore, as Senator, held the first congressional hearings on nanotechnology in 1992.

Doug Bailey