Science and Technology Innovation Program


Nanotechnology Research Directions for Societal Needs in 2020

December 01, 2010 // 11:30am12:30pm

Click here to download Dr. Roco's presentation slides.

WASHINGTON – There is an accelerating and non-uniform process of discoveries and innovations leading at times to emerging areas of science and technology such as nanotechnology around the year 2000. Only ten years after proposing a new definition and a long-term vision, nanotechnology also has become a socio-economic initiative in all developed countries and in many developing countries. A global science and societal endeavor has been initiated by the long-term nanotechnology R&D vision formulated in the 1999 report "Nanotechnology Research Direction: Vision for the next ten years" adopted as an official document of the National Science and Technology Council and published by Springer in 2000.

A new report, "Nanotechnology Research Directions for Societal Needs in 2020" outlines the foundational knowledge and infrastructure development in the last decade, the current ~$15 billion in R&D programs underpinning about $250 billion of products incorporating nanoscale components in the world in 2009, and the likely evolution towards a general purpose technology by 2020. The study includes opinions of leading experts from over 35 countries and brainstorming meetings hosted by the Word Technology Evaluation Center (WTEC) in 2010 in Chicago, Hamburg, Tokyo, Singapore and Arlington, VA. The full report will be made available at: [](

Dr. Mihail (Mike) Roco will cover the reasons for establishing the National Nanotechnology Initiative and other national programs around the world, the main outcomes after ten years, the governance aspects including the nanotechnology EHS and ELSI issues, what has worked, what has not, and most importantly how we prepare now for the future.

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