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A Call for Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenges


Transmission electron microscope (TEM) tomography provides a nanoscale, 3D visualization of the structure of a templated block copolymer.
Electron microscope tomograph shows a 3D view (~300 nm on a side) of a gridwork of polymer cylinders. The grid is an example of the use of special polymer blends that self-organize to create nanoscale shapes or patterns that are difficult to make. NIST is helping the electronics industry develop techniques to visualize and analyze the tiny structures.
Credit: Winterstein/NIST

NIST is a participant in the National Nanotechnology Initiative.

The Office of Science and Technology Policy has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking suggestions for Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenges for the Next Decade. A Grand Challenge is an ambitious but achievable goal that requires advances in science and technology to achieve, and that has the potential to capture the public's imagination. 

Under the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), scientists, engineers, and educators are building a future in which the ability to understand and control matter at the nanoscale leads to a revolution in technology and industry. The collective effort of this community to achieve the vision of the NNI has greatly accelerated the discovery, development, and deployment of nanotechnology to address broad national needs.  In a recent review of the NNI, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology called for government agencies, industry, and the research community to identify and pursue nanotechnology Grand Challenges. Through today's RFI, we want to hear your game-changing ideas for Grand Challenges that harness nanoscience and nanotechnology to solve important national or global problems. These Grand Challenges should stimulate additional public and private investment, and foster the commercialization of Federally-funded nanotechnology research. 

Read the full announcement on the OSTP website >>

Released June 18, 2015, Updated January 23, 2023