from the committee-speak dept.
A preliminary report has been issued by a committee organized by the National Research Council (NRC), an independent advisory body under the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) serving the government, to conduct a review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). The review was initiated in August, and is due to be completed in May 2002. The preliminary report identifies several items deemed critical to the success of the NNI: program management, including interagency coordination and ways of measuring progress; a balanced research portfolio that includes long-term planning, short-term successes, high-risk projects, and ìgrand challengesî; research partnerships with local, state and international entities including academia and the private sector; investment in developing infrastructure, fostering interdisciplinary research, and looking beyond nanoscale research to the creation of macro-scale products using nanotechnology; training of future scientists and engineers and examining societal impacts. (In other words, achieving the goals laid out in the original program are crucial to its success — it took a committee to arrive at this? Hopefully the final report will offer something more substantial.)
The report is available online, but be prepared to be exasperated: It is presented using the OpenBook system, as a series of low-resolution PDF files — one page at a time! Hint: many of the pages are blank; most of the sparse content is in Section 2.
Additional information about the NRC review (project scope, committee membership, meeting agendas, etc.) of the NNI is available at the NRC website.