The second triennial review by the National Research Council of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) identifies five cross-cutting, high-priority areas for focus and improvement for NNI going forward:
- improve information gathering and communication at the project level;
- develop and implement interagency plans for focused areas;
- rework the NNI website to better serve the diversity of stakeholder groups;
- take advantage of new technologies for data collection and analysis; and
- identify, share, and implement best practices, especially relating to technology transfer and commercialization.
This report is the most recent triennial review of NNI – a multidisciplinary federal initiative that supports a collection of research programs and other activities – as called for by the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of 2003. The report assesses NNI’s role in maximizing opportunities to transfer selected technologies to the private sector and suggests improvements and new mechanisms to foster technology transfer. It also evaluates the suitability of current procedures and criteria for determining progress toward NNI goals, and recommends explicit definitions of success for and metrics associated with meeting those goals. Finally, the report reviews the NNI’s management and coordination of nanotechnology research across participating federal agencies.