The next national nanotechnology program

Alan Shalleck of NanoClarity writes over at Nanotechnology Now on how the U.S. should go about planning its future federal funding of nanotech. Excerpts:

It is time to explore what the next three to five year national nanotechnology funding allocation will look like. We have already benefited from two multiple-year, multibillion-dollar Presidentially-endorsed Federal programs and those funds have been spent building a nanotechnology infrastructure. Where the next nanotechnology roadway heads is up for grabs. Let the discussion begin…

My preference is that the NanoBusiness Alliance should coordinate the efforts within the US to first gather sufficient data on national nanotech progress to create models for nanotech development over the next decade. (Maybe the Alliance can collaborate with the Foresight Institute or one or two other non-profits.)

This is a tricky topic. Alan makes his own view clear — focus on “useful, not scientific, stuff.” NbA might agree. Foresight would push in the direction of our Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems (pdf) — early rate ends Monday, academic rate ends Sept 28 — which has a long-term goal with near-term spinoffs. In any case, Alan is right that “The time to begin this effort is today.” —Christine

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