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INTRODUCTION

Government Support Of Nanotechnology

On December 3, 2003, President George W. Bush signed the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act. It authorized funding of $3.7 billion over a period of four years, the largest science initiative since the authorization of the space program. The act reaffirmed the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) established during the administration of Bill Clinton.

On its official Web site (www.nano.gov), the NNI defines itself as “a federal R&D [research and development] program established to coordinate the multi-agency efforts in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology.” In the near future, nanotechnology will become a major force in the world economy. The NNI aims to guarantee that the United States will remain at the cutting edge of nanotech development. It funds the creation of nanotechnology laboratories and supports research projects proposed by academic institutions, small businesses, and corporations. It encourages the development of a workforce skilled in nanotechnology that will be vital to industries transformed by nanotechnology, and it works to educate the public about the potentials of nanotechnology.

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