Research Priorities

The Federal Government has an interagency, coordinated plan for identifying and prioritizing research needs and implementing a research strategy. The resources below include several documents detailing the research plan.

  • National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). The NNI is the central program that coordinates Federal nanotechnology research and development (R&D). Twenty-five federal agencies, including the Department of Labor, participate in the NNI. NNI creates a framework for nanotechnology R&D by establishing shared goals, priorities and strategies, including prioritizing environmental, safety and health research. The NNI webpage contains background information, news and FAQs on nanotechnology, including Federally-funded nanotechnology research efforts.
  • The National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan. NNI (December 2007). The plan identifies activities aimed at accomplishing the NNI goals and priorities and represents the consensus of the participating agencies, including OSHA.
  • NNI, Strategy for Nanotechnology-related Environmental, Health and Safety Research. (2007). The document describes NNI's strategy for addressing priority research on environmental, health, and safety (EHS) aspects of nanomaterials.
  • NNI, Prioritization of Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Needs for Engineered Nanoscale Materials: An Interim Document for Public Comment. (2007). Prioritization principles were used to identify five priorities within each of the five categories of EHS needs identified in the EHS Research Needs document below. This document defines these twenty-five priorities along with the principles and the process used for prioritizing EHS research needs.
  • NNI, Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Needs for Engineered Nanoscale Materials. (2006). The primary purpose of this document is to identify for the Federal Government EHS research and information needs related to understanding and management of potential risks of engineered nanoscale materials.
  • NIOSH, Strategic Plan for NIOSH Nanotechnology Research: Filling the Knowledge Gaps. (2008) This document presents a research agenda for addressing knowledge gaps concerning possible worker exposure to nanomaterials, the health risks from such exposure, and development of control technology and prevention measures.
  • Nanotechnology White Paper (EPA). EPA 100/B-07/001, 2007. The document describes research needs and recommendations for nanotechnology.
  • Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, NIST. Researchers in the Center's laboratories are developing measurements, standards, and data crucial to private industry's development of products for the nanotechnology market.
  • National Science Foundation. The National Science Foundation (NSF), one of the participants in the NNI, funds research and educational efforts through their Nanoscale Science and Engineering program.