Technology could create $1 trillion global market

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House gave final approval on a plan to invest nearly $4 billion in research and development into nanotechnology.  The bill, a top Science Committee priority for the year, is now cleared for approval by the President, who is expected to sign the bill.

Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) applauded passage saying, “The idea behind this bill is simple yet powerful – the American economy will grow bigger if America’s scientists and engineers focus on things that are smaller.  The U.S. is the leader in nanotechnology and must remain so as this new field starts remaking the marketplace.  The nanotechnology program will be a model of government, university, industry cooperation, and of coordination, interdisciplinary research and public involvement.”

Boehlert and Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) introduced the House version of the nanotechnology bill, H.R. 766.  The bill sent to the President (S.189) was almost identical to the House version and was negotiated by the Science Committee and Senate counterparts.

Nanotechnology is the manipulation of materials at the atomic scale.  The National Science Foundation has estimated that nanotechnology applications may be worth more than $1 trillion in the global economy in little more than a decade.

“Experts agree that investing in innovation is the key to a vibrant U.S manufacturing base and continued generation of new jobs,” said Honda. “Nanotechnology is one of the areas of innovation most worthy of investment, as it has the potential to create entirely new industries and radically transform the basis of competition in others.  I applaud my colleagues for the commitment they have made today to invest in America’s future by passing this important legislation.”

S. 189 puts the President’s National Nanotechnology Initiative into law and authorizes $3.7 billion over the next four years for the program.  The bill also requires the creation of research centers, education and training efforts, research into the societal and ethical consequences of nanotechnology, and efforts to transfer technology into the marketplace.  Finally, the bill includes a series of coordination offices, advisory committees and regular program reviews to ensure that taxpayer money is being spent wisely and efficiently.

The National Association of Manufacturers, Semiconductor Industry Association, Association for Computing Machinery, Computing Research Association, Nanobusiness Alliance, Association of American Universities, National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, Alliance for Science and Technology Research in America, Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers, IBM, Intel, and Hewlett-Packard have all endorsed the legislation.

The text of the bill and a section-by-section can be found at the Science Committee website at  For additional information on the federal government’s nanotechnology research initiatives, log on to