The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) is pleased to highlight an important Request for Information (RFI) issued today by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) seeking suggestions for Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenges for the Next Decade: ambitious but achievable goals that harness nanoscience, nanotechnology, and innovation to solve important national or global problems and have the potential to capture the public’s imagination.
The RFI can be found online at https://federalregister.gov/a/2015-14914 and is discussed in a White House blog post at https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/06/17/call-nanotechnology-inspired-grand-challenges. Responses must be received by July 16, 2015, to be considered.
As explained by Dr. Michael Meador, Director of the NNCO, the RFI is a key step in responding to the most recent assessment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). “PCAST specifically recommended that the Federal government launch nanotechnology grand challenges in order to focus and amplify the impact of Federal nanotechnology investments and activities.”
The RFI includes a number of potential grand challenges as examples. Federal agencies participating in the NNI (see www.nano.gov), working with NNCO and OSTP, developed examples in the areas of health care, electronics, materials, sustainability, and product safety in order to illustrate how such grand challenges should be framed and to help stimulate the development of additional grand challenges by the wider community.
The RFI seeks input from nanotechnology stakeholders including researchers in academia and industry, non-governmental organizations, scientific and professional societies, and all other interested members of the public. “We strongly encourage everyone to spread the word about this request,” adds Meador. “We are excited about this request and hope to receive suggestions for bold and exciting challenges that nanotechnology can solve.”