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21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of 2003, Pub. L. No. 108-153 (2003), codified at 15 U.S.C. §§7501 et seq..
The Act provided a statutory foundation for the National Nanotechnology Initiative, established programs, assigned agency responsibilities, authorized funding levels, and initiated research to address key issues.
The Act requires the President to implement a national nanotechnology program and charges the NSTC itself — or through a subgroup ‐ with overseeing the planning, management, and coordination of the program. The NSTC carries out these tasks through the NSET Subcommittee, which includes a co-chair from OSTP as well as representatives from the member agencies of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSET oversees working groups, including the Nanotechnology Environmental and Health Implications (NEHI) working group which supports federal activities to protect public health and the environment.
The Act directs the NSTC, itself or through an appropriate subgroup it designates or establishes, to develop and update every 3 years a strategic plan to guide the activities of the program. The NSTC published its most recent strategic plan in February 2011. In addition to the statutorily required strategic plan, in 2008, the NSTC published a "Strategy for Nanotechnology-Related Environmental, Health, and Safety Research" and updated this document in 2011. The EHS strategies published in 2008 and 2011 expand on the goal of the responsible development of nanotechnology by describing the state of science and research needed to ensure that nanotechnology provides maximum benefits to the environment and human well-being.
The Act also requires the NSTC to prepare an annual report to be submitted to congressional committees on the national nanotechnology program's budget and an analysis of the progress made toward achieving the goals and priorities established for the program, among other things.
The Act requires triennial external reviews of the national nanotechnology program. Specifically, the Act requires the NNCO to contract with the NRC to conduct the triennial evaluations of the national nanotechnology program. The NRC draws on expertise from outside government, including from academia, companies, and NGOs. The NRC completed reviews in 2002, 2006, and 2009 based on the work of 15 to 23 panelists chosen by the NRC and identified in the review. In addition, the NRC also published an independent research strategy to address EHS aspects of nanomaterials in 2012.
No reauthorization legislation had been introduced in the 113th Congress.
- ↑ NSTC, Comm. on Technology, Subcomm. on Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology, National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan (Feb. 2011).
- ↑ NSTC, Comm. on Technology, Subcomm. on Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology, National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategy for Nanotechnology-Related Environmental, Health, and Safety Research (Feb. 2008) and National Nanotechnology Initiative Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Strategy (Oct. 2011).
- ↑ NRC, A Research Strategy for Environmental, Health, and Safety Aspects of Engineered Nanomaterials (2012).