NNI Strategic Plan 2010; Request for Information, 38850-38853 [2010-16273]

Download as PDF 38850 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 128 / Tuesday, July 6, 2010 / Notices meeting the requirements specified in III.G.2. This change, to the operation of the plant, has no relation to security issues. Therefore, the common defense and security is not diminished by this exemption. 3.9 Special Circumstances Special circumstances in accordance with 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii) are present whenever application of the regulation in the particular circumstances is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule. The underlying purpose of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix R, Section III.G is to ensure that at least one means of achieving and maintaining hot shutdown remains available during and following a postulated fire event. Therefore, since the underlying purpose of Appendix R, Section III.G is achieved, the special circumstances for granting an exemption from 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix R, Section III.G exist, as required by 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii). 4.0 Conclusion Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12(a), the exemption is authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to the public health and safety, and is consistent with the common defense and security. Also, special circumstances are present. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants Exelon an exemption from the requirements of section III.G.2 of appendix R of 10 CFR part 50, to TMI–1 for the OMA discussed above. Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.32, the Commission has determined that the granting of this exemption will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment (75 FR 36700). This exemption is effective upon issuance. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 28th day of June 2010. For The Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Joseph G. Giitter, Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2010–16352 Filed 7–2–10; 8:45 am] wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with NOTICES_PART 1 BILLING CODE 7590–01–P OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY NNI Strategic Plan 2010; Request for Information ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The purpose of this RFI is to enhance the value of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) by VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:52 Jul 02, 2010 Jkt 220001 reaching out to the nanotechnology stakeholder community for specific input for the next NNI Strategic Plan to be published in December 2010. This RFI refers to the NNI Goals identified from the 2007 Strategic Plan (http:// www.nano.gov/ NNI_Strategic_Plan_2007.pdf) as a starting point for questions covering themes such as research priorities, investment, coordination, partnerships, evaluation, and policy. RFI Response Instructions: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is interested in responses that address one or more of the following Questions below that are broadly categorized under Goals and Objectives; Research Priorities; Investment; Coordination and Partnerships; Evaluation; and Policy as related to the NNI. When submitting your response, please indicate: (1) The question(s) you are answering, and (2) which of the four NNI goals to which it applies. Please be specific and concise. Responses to this RFI should be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 15, 2010. (Submissions prior to the July 13–14, 2010 ‘‘NNI Strategic Plan Stakeholder Workshop’’ (http:// www.nano.gov/html/meetings/ NNISPWorkshop/index.html) may also inform dialogues at this event.) Responses to this RFI must be delivered electronically in the body of or as an attachment to an e-mail sent to NNIStrategy@ostp.gov. Additionally, OSTP intends to stage an online public comment event July 13–August 15, 2010 to solicit input on the NNI Strategic Plan. For details on this online event, see http://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/ NNIStrategy/. Responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract or issue a grant. Information obtained as a result of this RFI may be used by the government for program planning on a non-attribution basis. Do not include any information that might be considered proprietary or confidential. Background Information What is the NNI? The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) is a U.S. Government research and development (R&D) program of 25 agencies working together toward the common challenging vision of a future in which the ability to understand and control matter at the nanoscale leads to a revolution in technology and industry that benefits society. The combined, coordinated efforts of these agencies have accelerated discovery, development, and deployment of nanotechnology towards agency PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 missions and the broader national interest. Established in 2001, the NNI involves nanotechnology-related activities by the 25 member agencies, 15 of which have budgets for nanotechnology R&D for 2011. The NNI is managed within the framework of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), the Cabinet-level council by which the President coordinates science and technology across the Federal Government and interfaces with other sectors. The Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the NSTC coordinates planning, budgeting, program implementation, and review of the NNI. The NSET Subcommittee is composed of senior representatives from agencies participating in the NNI (http:// www.nano.gov). NNI Goals: The December 2007 NNI Strategic Plan (http://www.nano.gov/ NNI_Strategic_Plan_2007.pdf) specifies four overarching, crosscutting goals towards achieving the overall vision of the NNI: Goal 1: Advance a world-class nanotechnology research and development program. The NNI ensures United States leadership in nanotechnology research and development by stimulating discovery and innovation. This program expands the boundaries of knowledge and develops technologies through a comprehensive program of research and development. The NNI agencies invest at the frontiers and intersections of many disciplines, including biology, chemistry, engineering, materials science, and physics. The interest in nanotechnology arises from its potential to significantly impact numerous fields, including aerospace, agriculture, energy, the environment, healthcare, information technology, homeland security, national defense, and transportation systems. Goal 2: Foster the transfer of new technologies into products for commercial and public benefit. Nanotechnology contributes to United States competitiveness by improving existing products and processes and by creating new ones. The NNI implements strategies that maximize the economic benefits of its investments in nanotechnology, based on understanding the fundamental science and responsibly translating this knowledge into practical applications. Goal 3: Develop and sustain educational resources, a skilled workforce, and the supporting infrastructure and tools to advance nanotechnology. A skilled science and engineering workforce, leading-edge E:\FR\FM\06JYN1.SGM 06JYN1 wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with NOTICES_PART 1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 128 / Tuesday, July 6, 2010 / Notices instrumentation, and state-of-the-art facilities are essential to advancing nanotechnology research and development. Educational programs and resources are required to produce the next generation of nanotechnologists, that is, the researchers, inventors, engineers, and technicians who drive discovery, innovation, industry, and manufacturing. Goal 4: Support responsible development of nanotechnology. The NNI aims to maximize the benefits of nanotechnology and at the same time to develop an understanding of potential risks and to develop the means to manage them. Specifically, the NNI pursues a program of research, education, and communication focused on environmental, health, safety, and broader societal dimensions of nanotechnology development. Program Component Areas (PCAs): The December 2007 NNI Strategic Plan (http://www.nano.gov/ NNI_Strategic_Plan_2007.pdf) lays out eight categories of NNI investment known as program component areas (PCAs) to facilitate coordination, planning, and assessment of efforts towards achieving the NNI goals. The PCAs are: 1. Fundamental nanoscale phenomena and processes; 2. Nanomaterials; 3. Nanoscale devices and systems; 4. Instrumentation research, metrology, and standards for nanotechnology; 5. Nanomanufacturing; 6. Major research facilities and instrumentation acquisition; 7. Environment, health, and safety; and 8. Education and societal dimensions. NNI Budget: Federal agencies annually report individual investments in nanotechnology R&D within PCAs in support of national goals and agency missions. Each agency separately determines its budgets for nanotechnology R&D, in coordination with the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Congress. Thus, the NNI is an interagency budget crosscut in which participating agencies work closely with each other to create an integrated program through communication, coordination, and collaboration. The proposed NNI budget for Fiscal Year 2011 is $1.76 billion, bringing the cumulative investment since the inception of the NNI in 2001 to nearly $14 billion (http:// www.nano.gov/ NNI_2011_budget_supplement.pdf). NNI Coordination: Enhanced communication through committees and working groups has led to joint coordination and collaboration in a variety of forms. The NSET Subcommittee has established four VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:52 Jul 02, 2010 Jkt 220001 working groups: (1) The Global Issues in Nanotechnology (GIN) Working Group, (2) the Nanotechnology Environmental and Health Implications (NEHI) Working Group, (3) the Nanomanufacturing, Industry Liaison, and Innovation (NILI) Working Group, and (4) the Nanotechnology Public Engagement and Communication (NPEC) Working Group. (See http:// www.nano.gov/html/about/ nsetworkinggroups.html.) Products from these working groups and other interagency collaborations include sharing of knowledge and expertise; joint sponsorship of solicitations and workshops; and leveraging funding, staff, and facility/equipment resources at NNI participating agencies. The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO; http://www.nano.gov/ html/about/nnco.html) acts as the primary point of contact for information on the NNI, provides public outreach on behalf of the NNI, and provides technical and administrative support to the NSET Subcommittee as well as the NSET working groups listed above. Questions A. Goals and Objectives • A1. What specific and measurable objectives should be established to help achieve the four stated NNI goals? • A2. Are there other overarching goals that would enable the NNI to better support the vision of a future in which the ability to understand and control matter at the nanoscale leads to a revolution in technology and industry that benefits society? Example: In achieving Goal 2, ‘‘to foster the transfer of new technologies into products for commercial and societal benefit,’’ one objective could be for the NNI member agencies to increase their emphasis on commercialization of nanotechnology-based products by launching new government-industryuniversity partnerships using successful models such as the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI; http:// nri.src.org/member/about/default.asp; cf. recommendations in the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology’s ‘‘Report to the President and Congress on the Third Assessment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative’’ (http://www.whitehouse.gov/ sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcastnano-report.pdf). B. Research Priorities • B1. What are the most important gaps in the NNI R&D portfolio (i.e., specific underfunded areas ripe for success) that should be addressed to PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 38851 achieve the NNI goal(s) (please specify 1, 2, 3, and/or 4)? • B2. What nanotechnology R&D areas should NNI member agencies pursue under the Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives model of close and targeted program-level interagency collaboration to help accelerate nanotechnology innovation? Background: To accelerate nanotechnology development in support of the President’s priorities and innovation strategy, NNI member agencies have identified areas ripe for significant advances through closer program-level interagency collaboration oriented around specific targets that are not likely to be achieved apart from more intensive interagency and crosssector collaboration. The three resulting Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives for FY 2011 are: 1. Nanotechnology applications for solar energy; 2. Sustainable Nanomanufacturing; and 3. Nanoelectronics for 2020 and Beyond (details are available at http:// www.nano.gov/html/research/ signature_initiatives.html). These Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives represent the leading edge of functional interagency collaboration in the budget and program planning process under the NNI, with multiple agencies working in common toward specific objectives. • B3. What are the most important scientific and technical challenges that would need to be met to realize the NNI goal(s) (1, 2, 3, and/or 4) and objectives? C. Investment • C1. What types of research and development investments (e.g. support for individual investigators, small teams, centers, research infrastructure, etc.) should the NNI agencies create, sustain, and/or expand to achieve the NNI goal(s) (please specify 1, 2, 3, and/ or 4)? Example, Department of Energy: the Department of Energy (DOE) investment in 2011 continues to support full operation of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Center (NSRC) user facilities (corresponding to PCA 6, major research facilities and instrumentation acquisition) and an extensive array of individual university grants and laboratory research programs. The Energy Frontier Research Centers, larger collaborative efforts in which a portion of the activity relates to nanoscale science, are also continued. In 2010 DOE initiates an Energy Innovation Hub on Fuels from Sunlight, and this support will continue in 2011, with a portion of the activity related to nanoscience. Much of the increase in DOE funding results from new funding from the Advanced Research Projects E:\FR\FM\06JYN1.SGM 06JYN1 wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with NOTICES_PART 1 38852 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 128 / Tuesday, July 6, 2010 / Notices Agency—Energy (ARPA–E), the initiation of additional Energy Frontier Research Centers, and the formation of a second Energy Innovation Hub focusing on batteries and energy storage. A significant fraction of these activities will be fundamentally based on nanoscience. Example, National Science Foundation and Environmental Protection Agency: In 2011, the NSF and the EPA continue to fund (over five years, starting in September 2008) two Centers for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEIN). Led by the University of California Los Angeles and Duke University, the CEINs will study how nanomaterials interact with the environment and human health, resulting in better risk assessment and risk mitigation strategies. Each center works as a network, connected to multiple research organizations, industry, and government agencies, and emphasizes interdisciplinary research and education. • C2. What relative distribution of research and development investment among the PCAs is needed to achieve the NNI goal(s) (1, 2, 3, and/or 4), and why? Background: While the NNI remains focused on fulfilling the Federal role of supporting basic research, infrastructure development, and technology transfer, the proposed investments for 2011 place renewed emphasis on accelerating the transition from basic R&D advances and capabilities into innovations that support national priorities such as sustainable energy technologies, healthcare, and environmental protection. While the dominant focus of NNI funding represented in PCAs 1, 2, and 3 have been relatively sustained, the fastest-growing PCAs in recent years have been those for EHS (PCA 7, the requested EHS investment for 2011 is $117 million—over triple the figure for 2005) and nanomanufacturing (PCA 5, increasing from $34 million in 2006 to $101 million in the 2011 request), with a resultant small percentage reduction (about one percent change from 2010) in the highest-funded PCA, fundamental nanoscale phenomena and processes (PCA 1, $484.4 million in the 2011 request). See the NNI Supplement to the President’s FY 2011 Budget at http:// www.nano.gov/ NNI_2011_budget_supplement.pdf, pages 7–11 and the data.gov site (http://www.data.gov/raw/1556/#) for more details on relative funding over time. • C3. What is the appropriate balance for investment in nanotechnology among US private and public entities VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:52 Jul 02, 2010 Jkt 220001 (i.e., government, corporate R&D, and venture capital) to achieve the NNI goal(s) (please specify 1, 2, 3, and/or 4), and why? Background: The President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology’s ‘‘Report to the President and Congress on the Third Assessment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative’’ (http:// www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/ microsites/ostp/pcast-nano-report.pdf) reports that the United States invested $5.7 billion in nanotechnology Research & Development in 2008, which corresponds approximately to one-third from Federal and State governments, half from corporate investments, and about one-fifth from venture capital investments. D. Coordination and Partnerships • D1. How could the NNI strengthen interagency coordination and collaboration towards specific NNI goal(s) (please specify 1, 2, 3, and/or 4) and objectives? • D2. What improved mechanisms may be utilized to facilitate innovative cross-disciplinary research supporting the NNI goal(s) (please specify 1, 2, 3, and/or 4)? • D3. What are the most effective roles of the government, industry, academia, and other stakeholders in achieving this NNI goal (1, 2, 3, and/or 4)? • D4. What new forms of collaboration between stakeholders should be explored to facilitate nanotechnology-based innovation into applications? Government-Government Example: to help accomplish Goal 4, to ‘‘support responsible development of nanotechnology,’’ the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is supporting research to determine precisely the physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials with biological response, thus supplying critical data for hazard and risk assessment. To support the goals of this program, NIEHS is establishing collaborations with the NIH/National Cancer Institute’s Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory for physical characterization of nanomaterials and with the Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (CaBIG®) NanoLab for data storage. • D5. What existing activities in the public and private sector could the NNI develop or model to achieve the NNI goal(s) (please specify 1, 2, 3, and/or 4)? Example: The NRI (described above in section A) is a leading example of industry-university cooperative research involving more than 30 top universities in the United States with research PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 projects organized around four multiuniversity centers incorporating state and regional funding as well. • D6. What partners or types of partners would need to collaborate (i.e., government, specific foundations and industry groups, new ideas for consortia) to accomplish the NNI goal(s) (please specify 1, 2, 3, and/or 4)? • D7. What are effective mechanisms to leverage and/or coordinate USfunded research and development with international efforts? • D8. What mechanisms could NNI use to regularly engage experts in academia and industry and other organizations for input on its approach to addressing specific NNI goals (please specify 1, 2, 3, and/or 4)? • D9. What is the role of public engagement in achieving specific NNI goals? In what ways can the Federal government best engage with citizens to ensure the sustainable development of nanotechnology-based products with the broadest economic and societal benefits? Evaluation • E1. What specific criteria (e.g., nanotechnology publications and citations, nanotechnology patent activity, nanotechnology-related job creation, relative international nanotechnology investments) should the NNI use to evaluate its progress towards the NNI goal(s) (please specify 1, 2, 3, and/or 4) and in what priority order? • E2. Which organizations (e.g., government committees, independent organizations, international bodies) should perform the evaluation of progress towards the NNI goal(s) (please specify 1, 2, 3, and/or 4)? • E3. How can NNI best balance fundamental and applied research and development towards the NNI goal(s) (please specify 1, 2, 3, and/or 4)? Policy • F1. What new, or existing, specific policies should the NNI agencies develop or adjust to support the NNI goal(s) (please specify 1, 2, 3, and/or 4) and to realize the broader economic and societal benefits associated with advances in nanotechnology? Examples: Policies that impact and/or support the NNI goals might address procurement, incentive prizes, technical documentary standards, international collaboration, targeted investment, permanent resident cards for foreign graduates from accredited US academic institutions, etc. • F2. What best practices can be drawn from nanotechnology- and innovation-related policies in other sectors and countries? E:\FR\FM\06JYN1.SGM 06JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 128 / Tuesday, July 6, 2010 / Notices FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Any questions about the content of this RFI should be sent to NNIStrategy@ostp.gov. Additional information regarding this RFI is at http://www.whitehouse.gov/ ostp/NNIStrategy/. Questions and responses may also be sent by mail (please allow additional time for processing) to the address: Office of Science and Technology Policy, ATTN: Nano RFI, Executive Office of the President, 725 17th Street, Room 5228, Washington, DC 20502. Phone: (202) 456–7116, Fax: (202) 456–6021. Dated: June 29, 2010. Ted Wackler, Deputy Chief of Staff. [FR Doc. 2010–16273 Filed 7–2–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3170–W0–P SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Form N–14; SEC File No. 270–297; OMB Control No. 3235–0336] Proposed Collection; Comment Request Upon Written Request, Copy Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, Washington, DC 20549–0213. wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with NOTICES_PART 1 Extension: Form N–14, SEC File No. 270–297, OMB Control No. 3235–0336. Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Securities and Exchange Commission (the ‘‘Commission’’) is soliciting comments on the collection of information summarized below. The Commission plans to submit this existing collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget for extension and approval. Form N–14 (17 CFR 239.23)— Registration Statement Under the Securities Act of 1933 for Securities Issued in Business Combination Transactions by Investment Companies and Business Development Companies. Form N–14 is used by investment companies registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a–1 et seq.) (‘‘Investment Company Act’’) and business development companies as defined by section 2(a)(48) of the Investment Company Act to register securities under the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77a et seq.) (‘‘Securities Act’’) to be issued in business combination transactions specified in rule 145(a) under the Securities Act (17 CFR VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:52 Jul 02, 2010 Jkt 220001 230.145(a)) and exchange offers. The securities are registered under the Securities Act to ensure that investors receive the material information necessary to evaluate securities issued in business combination transactions. The Commission staff reviews registration statements on Form N–14 for the adequacy and accuracy of the disclosure contained therein. Without Form N–14, the Commission would be unable to verify compliance with securities law requirements. The respondents to the collection of information are investment companies or business development companies issuing securities in business combination transactions. The estimated number of responses is 286 (including 266 registrants that file one new registration statement on Form N–14 each year and 20 registrants that file one amendment to Form N–14 each year) and the collection occurs only when a merger or other business combination is planned. The estimated total annual reporting burden of the collection of information is approximately 620 hours per response for a new registration statement, and approximately 350 hours per response for an amended Form N– 14, for a total of 171,920 annual burden hours. Written comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the Commission’s mission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission’s estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted in writing within 60 days of this publication. Please direct your written comments to Charles Boucher, Director/CIO, Securities and Exchange Commission, C/O Shirley Martinson, 6432 General Green Way, Alexandria, VA, 22312; or send an e-mail to: PRA_Mailbox@sec.gov. Dated: June 29, 2010. Florence E. Harmon, Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. 2010–16306 Filed 7–2–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8010–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 38853 SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Proposed Collection; Comment Request Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, Washington, DC 20549–0213. Extension: Rule 0–2, SEC File No. 270–572, OMB Control No. 3235–0636. Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501–3520), the Securities and Exchange Commission (the ‘‘Commission’’) is soliciting comments on the collections of information summarized below. The Commission plans to submit this existing collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget for extension and approval. Several sections of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (‘‘Act’’ or ‘‘Investment Company Act’’) 1 give the Commission the authority to issue orders granting exemptions from the Act’s provisions. The section that grants broadest authority is section 6(c), which provides the Commission with authority to conditionally or unconditionally exempt persons, securities or transactions from any provision of the Investment Company Act, or the rules or regulations thereunder, if and to the extent that such exemption is necessary or appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors and the purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of the Act.2 Rule 0–2 under the Investment Company Act,3 entitled ‘‘General Requirements of Papers and Applications,’’ prescribes general instructions for filing an application seeking exemptive relief with the Commission for which a form is not specifically prescribed. Rule 0–2 requires that each application filed with the commission have (a) A statement of authorization to file and sign the application on behalf of the applicant, (b) a verification of application and statements of fact, (c) a brief statement of the grounds for application, and (d) the name and address of each applicant and of any person to whom questions should be directed. The Commission uses the information required by rule 0– 2 to decide whether the applicant 1 15 U.S.C. 80a–1 et seq. U.S.C. 80a–6(c). 3 17 CFR 270.0–2. 2 15 E:\FR\FM\06JYN1.SGM 06JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 128 (Tuesday, July 6, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 38850-38853]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-16273]


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OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY


NNI Strategic Plan 2010; Request for Information

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The purpose of this RFI is to enhance the value of the 
National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) by reaching out to the 
nanotechnology stakeholder community for specific input for the next 
NNI Strategic Plan to be published in December 2010. This RFI refers to 
the NNI Goals identified from the 2007 Strategic Plan (http://www.nano.gov/NNI_Strategic_Plan_2007.pdf) as a starting point for 
questions covering themes such as research priorities, investment, 
coordination, partnerships, evaluation, and policy.
    RFI Response Instructions: The White House Office of Science and 
Technology Policy is interested in responses that address one or more 
of the following Questions below that are broadly categorized under 
Goals and Objectives; Research Priorities; Investment; Coordination and 
Partnerships; Evaluation; and Policy as related to the NNI. When 
submitting your response, please indicate: (1) The question(s) you are 
answering, and (2) which of the four NNI goals to which it applies. 
Please be specific and concise.
    Responses to this RFI should be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern 
Time on August 15, 2010. (Submissions prior to the July 13-14, 2010 
``NNI Strategic Plan Stakeholder Workshop'' (http://www.nano.gov/html/meetings/NNISPWorkshop/index.html) may also inform dialogues at this 
event.) Responses to this RFI must be delivered electronically in the 
body of or as an attachment to an e-mail sent to NNIStrategy@ostp.gov. 
Additionally, OSTP intends to stage an online public comment event July 
13-August 15, 2010 to solicit input on the NNI Strategic Plan. For 
details on this online event, see http://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/NNIStrategy/.
    Responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by 
the Government to form a binding contract or issue a grant. Information 
obtained as a result of this RFI may be used by the government for 
program planning on a non-attribution basis. Do not include any 
information that might be considered proprietary or confidential.

Background Information

    What is the NNI? The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) is a 
U.S. Government research and development (R&D) program of 25 agencies 
working together toward the common challenging vision of a future in 
which the ability to understand and control matter at the nanoscale 
leads to a revolution in technology and industry that benefits society. 
The combined, coordinated efforts of these agencies have accelerated 
discovery, development, and deployment of nanotechnology towards agency 
missions and the broader national interest. Established in 2001, the 
NNI involves nanotechnology-related activities by the 25 member 
agencies, 15 of which have budgets for nanotechnology R&D for 2011.
    The NNI is managed within the framework of the National Science and 
Technology Council (NSTC), the Cabinet-level council by which the 
President coordinates science and technology across the Federal 
Government and interfaces with other sectors. The Nanoscale Science, 
Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the NSTC coordinates 
planning, budgeting, program implementation, and review of the NNI. The 
NSET Subcommittee is composed of senior representatives from agencies 
participating in the NNI (http://www.nano.gov).
    NNI Goals: The December 2007 NNI Strategic Plan (http://www.nano.gov/NNI_Strategic_Plan_2007.pdf) specifies four 
overarching, crosscutting goals towards achieving the overall vision of 
the NNI:
    Goal 1: Advance a world-class nanotechnology research and 
development program. The NNI ensures United States leadership in 
nanotechnology research and development by stimulating discovery and 
innovation. This program expands the boundaries of knowledge and 
develops technologies through a comprehensive program of research and 
development. The NNI agencies invest at the frontiers and intersections 
of many disciplines, including biology, chemistry, engineering, 
materials science, and physics. The interest in nanotechnology arises 
from its potential to significantly impact numerous fields, including 
aerospace, agriculture, energy, the environment, healthcare, 
information technology, homeland security, national defense, and 
transportation systems.
    Goal 2: Foster the transfer of new technologies into products for 
commercial and public benefit. Nanotechnology contributes to United 
States competitiveness by improving existing products and processes and 
by creating new ones. The NNI implements strategies that maximize the 
economic benefits of its investments in nanotechnology, based on 
understanding the fundamental science and responsibly translating this 
knowledge into practical applications.
    Goal 3: Develop and sustain educational resources, a skilled 
workforce, and the supporting infrastructure and tools to advance 
nanotechnology. A skilled science and engineering workforce, leading-
edge

[[Page 38851]]

instrumentation, and state-of-the-art facilities are essential to 
advancing nanotechnology research and development. Educational programs 
and resources are required to produce the next generation of 
nanotechnologists, that is, the researchers, inventors, engineers, and 
technicians who drive discovery, innovation, industry, and 
manufacturing.
    Goal 4: Support responsible development of nanotechnology. The NNI 
aims to maximize the benefits of nanotechnology and at the same time to 
develop an understanding of potential risks and to develop the means to 
manage them. Specifically, the NNI pursues a program of research, 
education, and communication focused on environmental, health, safety, 
and broader societal dimensions of nanotechnology development.
    Program Component Areas (PCAs): The December 2007 NNI Strategic 
Plan (http://www.nano.gov/NNI_Strategic_Plan_2007.pdf) lays out 
eight categories of NNI investment known as program component areas 
(PCAs) to facilitate coordination, planning, and assessment of efforts 
towards achieving the NNI goals. The PCAs are: 1. Fundamental nanoscale 
phenomena and processes; 2. Nanomaterials; 3. Nanoscale devices and 
systems; 4. Instrumentation research, metrology, and standards for 
nanotechnology; 5. Nanomanufacturing; 6. Major research facilities and 
instrumentation acquisition; 7. Environment, health, and safety; and 8. 
Education and societal dimensions.
    NNI Budget: Federal agencies annually report individual investments 
in nanotechnology R&D within PCAs in support of national goals and 
agency missions. Each agency separately determines its budgets for 
nanotechnology R&D, in coordination with the Office of Management and 
Budget, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Congress. 
Thus, the NNI is an interagency budget crosscut in which participating 
agencies work closely with each other to create an integrated program 
through communication, coordination, and collaboration. The proposed 
NNI budget for Fiscal Year 2011 is $1.76 billion, bringing the 
cumulative investment since the inception of the NNI in 2001 to nearly 
$14 billion (http://www.nano.gov/NNI_2011_budget_supplement.pdf).
    NNI Coordination: Enhanced communication through committees and 
working groups has led to joint coordination and collaboration in a 
variety of forms. The NSET Subcommittee has established four working 
groups: (1) The Global Issues in Nanotechnology (GIN) Working Group, 
(2) the Nanotechnology Environmental and Health Implications (NEHI) 
Working Group, (3) the Nanomanufacturing, Industry Liaison, and 
Innovation (NILI) Working Group, and (4) the Nanotechnology Public 
Engagement and Communication (NPEC) Working Group. (See http://www.nano.gov/html/about/nsetworkinggroups.html.) Products from these 
working groups and other interagency collaborations include sharing of 
knowledge and expertise; joint sponsorship of solicitations and 
workshops; and leveraging funding, staff, and facility/equipment 
resources at NNI participating agencies. The National Nanotechnology 
Coordination Office (NNCO; http://www.nano.gov/html/about/nnco.html) 
acts as the primary point of contact for information on the NNI, 
provides public outreach on behalf of the NNI, and provides technical 
and administrative support to the NSET Subcommittee as well as the NSET 
working groups listed above.

Questions

A. Goals and Objectives

     A1. What specific and measurable objectives should be 
established to help achieve the four stated NNI goals?
     A2. Are there other overarching goals that would enable 
the NNI to better support the vision of a future in which the ability 
to understand and control matter at the nanoscale leads to a revolution 
in technology and industry that benefits society?
    Example: In achieving Goal 2, ``to foster the transfer of new 
technologies into products for commercial and societal benefit,'' one 
objective could be for the NNI member agencies to increase their 
emphasis on commercialization of nanotechnology-based products by 
launching new government-industry-university partnerships using 
successful models such as the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI; 
http://nri.src.org/member/about/default.asp; cf. recommendations in the 
President's Council of Advisors on Science & Technology's ``Report to 
the President and Congress on the Third Assessment of the National 
Nanotechnology Initiative'' (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast-nano-report.pdf).

B. Research Priorities

     B1. What are the most important gaps in the NNI R&D 
portfolio (i.e., specific underfunded areas ripe for success) that 
should be addressed to achieve the NNI goal(s) (please specify 1, 2, 3, 
and/or 4)?
     B2. What nanotechnology R&D areas should NNI member 
agencies pursue under the Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives model of 
close and targeted program-level interagency collaboration to help 
accelerate nanotechnology innovation?
    Background: To accelerate nanotechnology development in support of 
the President's priorities and innovation strategy, NNI member agencies 
have identified areas ripe for significant advances through closer 
program-level interagency collaboration oriented around specific 
targets that are not likely to be achieved apart from more intensive 
interagency and cross-sector collaboration. The three resulting 
Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives for FY 2011 are: 1. Nanotechnology 
applications for solar energy; 2. Sustainable Nanomanufacturing; and 3. 
Nanoelectronics for 2020 and Beyond (details are available at http://www.nano.gov/html/research/signature_initiatives.html). These 
Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives represent the leading edge of 
functional interagency collaboration in the budget and program planning 
process under the NNI, with multiple agencies working in common toward 
specific objectives.
     B3. What are the most important scientific and technical 
challenges that would need to be met to realize the NNI goal(s) (1, 2, 
3, and/or 4) and objectives?

C. Investment

     C1. What types of research and development investments 
(e.g. support for individual investigators, small teams, centers, 
research infrastructure, etc.) should the NNI agencies create, sustain, 
and/or expand to achieve the NNI goal(s) (please specify 1, 2, 3, and/
or 4)?
    Example, Department of Energy: the Department of Energy (DOE) 
investment in 2011 continues to support full operation of the five DOE 
Nanoscale Science Research Center (NSRC) user facilities (corresponding 
to PCA 6, major research facilities and instrumentation acquisition) 
and an extensive array of individual university grants and laboratory 
research programs. The Energy Frontier Research Centers, larger 
collaborative efforts in which a portion of the activity relates to 
nanoscale science, are also continued. In 2010 DOE initiates an Energy 
Innovation Hub on Fuels from Sunlight, and this support will continue 
in 2011, with a portion of the activity related to nanoscience. Much of 
the increase in DOE funding results from new funding from the Advanced 
Research Projects

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Agency--Energy (ARPA-E), the initiation of additional Energy Frontier 
Research Centers, and the formation of a second Energy Innovation Hub 
focusing on batteries and energy storage. A significant fraction of 
these activities will be fundamentally based on nanoscience.
    Example, National Science Foundation and Environmental Protection 
Agency: In 2011, the NSF and the EPA continue to fund (over five years, 
starting in September 2008) two Centers for the Environmental 
Implications of Nanotechnology (CEIN). Led by the University of 
California Los Angeles and Duke University, the CEINs will study how 
nanomaterials interact with the environment and human health, resulting 
in better risk assessment and risk mitigation strategies. Each center 
works as a network, connected to multiple research organizations, 
industry, and government agencies, and emphasizes interdisciplinary 
research and education.
     C2. What relative distribution of research and development 
investment among the PCAs is needed to achieve the NNI goal(s) (1, 2, 
3, and/or 4), and why?
    Background: While the NNI remains focused on fulfilling the Federal 
role of supporting basic research, infrastructure development, and 
technology transfer, the proposed investments for 2011 place renewed 
emphasis on accelerating the transition from basic R&D advances and 
capabilities into innovations that support national priorities such as 
sustainable energy technologies, healthcare, and environmental 
protection. While the dominant focus of NNI funding represented in PCAs 
1, 2, and 3 have been relatively sustained, the fastest-growing PCAs in 
recent years have been those for EHS (PCA 7, the requested EHS 
investment for 2011 is $117 million--over triple the figure for 2005) 
and nanomanufacturing (PCA 5, increasing from $34 million in 2006 to 
$101 million in the 2011 request), with a resultant small percentage 
reduction (about one percent change from 2010) in the highest-funded 
PCA, fundamental nanoscale phenomena and processes (PCA 1, $484.4 
million in the 2011 request). See the NNI Supplement to the President's 
FY 2011 Budget at http://www.nano.gov/NNI_2011_budget_supplement.pdf, pages 7-11 and the data.gov site (http://www.data.gov/raw/1556/#) for more details on relative funding over time.
     C3. What is the appropriate balance for investment in 
nanotechnology among US private and public entities (i.e., government, 
corporate R&D, and venture capital) to achieve the NNI goal(s) (please 
specify 1, 2, 3, and/or 4), and why?
    Background: The President's Council of Advisors on Science & 
Technology's ``Report to the President and Congress on the Third 
Assessment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative'' (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast-nano-report.pdf) reports that the United States invested $5.7 billion in 
nanotechnology Research & Development in 2008, which corresponds 
approximately to one-third from Federal and State governments, half 
from corporate investments, and about one-fifth from venture capital 
investments.

D. Coordination and Partnerships

     D1. How could the NNI strengthen interagency coordination 
and collaboration towards specific NNI goal(s) (please specify 1, 2, 3, 
and/or 4) and objectives?
     D2. What improved mechanisms may be utilized to facilitate 
innovative cross-disciplinary research supporting the NNI goal(s) 
(please specify 1, 2, 3, and/or 4)?
     D3. What are the most effective roles of the government, 
industry, academia, and other stakeholders in achieving this NNI goal 
(1, 2, 3, and/or 4)?
     D4. What new forms of collaboration between stakeholders 
should be explored to facilitate nanotechnology-based innovation into 
applications?
    Government-Government Example: to help accomplish Goal 4, to 
``support responsible development of nanotechnology,'' the National 
Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Environmental Health 
Sciences (NIEHS) is supporting research to determine precisely the 
physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials with biological 
response, thus supplying critical data for hazard and risk assessment. 
To support the goals of this program, NIEHS is establishing 
collaborations with the NIH/National Cancer Institute's Nanotechnology 
Characterization Laboratory for physical characterization of 
nanomaterials and with the Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid 
(CaBIG[supreg]) NanoLab for data storage.
     D5. What existing activities in the public and private 
sector could the NNI develop or model to achieve the NNI goal(s) 
(please specify 1, 2, 3, and/or 4)?
    Example: The NRI (described above in section A) is a leading 
example of industry-university cooperative research involving more than 
30 top universities in the United States with research projects 
organized around four multi-university centers incorporating state and 
regional funding as well.
     D6. What partners or types of partners would need to 
collaborate (i.e., government, specific foundations and industry 
groups, new ideas for consortia) to accomplish the NNI goal(s) (please 
specify 1, 2, 3, and/or 4)?
     D7. What are effective mechanisms to leverage and/or 
coordinate US-funded research and development with international 
efforts?
     D8. What mechanisms could NNI use to regularly engage 
experts in academia and industry and other organizations for input on 
its approach to addressing specific NNI goals (please specify 1, 2, 3, 
and/or 4)?
     D9. What is the role of public engagement in achieving 
specific NNI goals? In what ways can the Federal government best engage 
with citizens to ensure the sustainable development of nanotechnology-
based products with the broadest economic and societal benefits?

Evaluation

     E1. What specific criteria (e.g., nanotechnology 
publications and citations, nanotechnology patent activity, 
nanotechnology-related job creation, relative international 
nanotechnology investments) should the NNI use to evaluate its progress 
towards the NNI goal(s) (please specify 1, 2, 3, and/or 4) and in what 
priority order?
     E2. Which organizations (e.g., government committees, 
independent organizations, international bodies) should perform the 
evaluation of progress towards the NNI goal(s) (please specify 1, 2, 3, 
and/or 4)?
     E3. How can NNI best balance fundamental and applied 
research and development towards the NNI goal(s) (please specify 1, 2, 
3, and/or 4)?

Policy

     F1. What new, or existing, specific policies should the 
NNI agencies develop or adjust to support the NNI goal(s) (please 
specify 1, 2, 3, and/or 4) and to realize the broader economic and 
societal benefits associated with advances in nanotechnology?
    Examples: Policies that impact and/or support the NNI goals might 
address procurement, incentive prizes, technical documentary standards, 
international collaboration, targeted investment, permanent resident 
cards for foreign graduates from accredited US academic institutions, 
etc.
     F2. What best practices can be drawn from nanotechnology- 
and innovation-related policies in other sectors and countries?

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Any questions about the content of 
this RFI should be sent to NNIStrategy@ostp.gov. Additional information 
regarding this RFI is at http://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/NNIStrategy/. 
Questions and responses may also be sent by mail (please allow 
additional time for processing) to the address: Office of Science and 
Technology Policy, ATTN: Nano RFI, Executive Office of the President, 
725 17th Street, Room 5228, Washington, DC 20502. Phone: (202) 456-
7116, Fax: (202) 456-6021.

    Dated: June 29, 2010.
Ted Wackler,
Deputy Chief of Staff.
[FR Doc. 2010-16273 Filed 7-2-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3170-W0-P