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By National Research Council, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, Committee for the Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative

Nanoscale technological know-how and know-how, also known as "nanoscience" or "nanotechnology," are technological know-how and engineering enabled via our fairly new skill to control and symbolize topic on the point of unmarried atoms and small teams of atoms. This power is the results of many advancements within the final 20 years of the twentieth century, together with innovations of medical tools just like the scanning tunneling microscope. utilizing such instruments, scientists and engineers have began controlling the constitution and houses of fabrics and structures on the scale of 10?9 meters, or 1/100,000 the width of a human hair. Scientists and engineers expect that nanoscale paintings will allow the improvement of fabrics and structures with dramatic new homes proper to almost each area of the economic system, equivalent to drugs, telecommunications, and desktops, and to parts of nationwide curiosity resembling place of origin defense. certainly, early items in accordance with nanoscale expertise have already stumbled on their manner into and into protection applications.

In 1996, because the great clinical and financial strength of nanoscale technology and expertise was once starting to be famous, a federal interagency operating team shaped to think about construction of a countrywide nanotechnology initiative (NNI). because of this attempt, round $1 billion has been directed towards NNI study because the begin of FY 2001. on the request of officers within the White condo nationwide fiscal Council and firms which are engaging in NNI, the nationwide learn Council (NRC) agreed to study the NNI. The Committee for the evaluation of the nationwide Nanotechnology Initiative was once shaped via the NRC and requested to think about subject matters comparable to the present study portfolio of the NNI, the suitability of federal investments, and interagency coordination efforts during this area.

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28 technology. Many nanoscale scientific problems are complicated, and international collaboration will hasten their solution and the application of these solutions in commercial products. Countries developing nanoscale science and technology as a competence must build strong interdisciplinary collaborations. Government policies are already promoting this in many countries, particularly in Europe. As other countries aggressively pursue international partnering opportunities in nanoscale science and engineering, the United States will retain its world leadership in the field only if it is viewed as the collaborator of choice.

S. initiative, NNI, is the largest and broadest initiative in the world. 1 International government funding for nanotechnology R&D as of April 2002. Data are based on information collected from government programs by M. Roco, NSF. 2002 figures are estimates. 1 Euro. Japan rate of exchange $1 = 130 yen. “Others” includes Australia, Canada, China, Eastern Europe, countries of the former Soviet Union, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and other countries with nanotechnology R&D. A financial year begins October 1 in the United States and March 1 or April 1 in most other countries.

7 Speculation about unintended consequences of nanotechnology, some of it informed but a lot of it wildly uninformed, has already captured the imagination and, to some extent, the fear of the general public. Some technologists, such as those in the nuclear power and genetically modified foods industries, have ignored these kinds of challenges and suffered the consequences. Others, most notably those in the molecular biology community, have attempted to address the issues and to use their understanding to stimulate an informed and objective dialogue about the choices that can be made and the directions taken.

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