EE Times article Niolas Mokhoff

NEW YORK — Two key legislators have called for the quick reauthorization of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI).

At the Nanobusiness 2008 conference here Monday (May 5), Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee, both endorsed fast-track commercialization of nanotechnology research as a way to boost U.S. productivity.

Draft legislation coming out of the House science panel would expand NNI, which was approved by Congress in 2003. The initiative established interagency planning and budgeting. Twenty-six federal agencies participate in NNI, 13 of which contribute to its R&D budget.

The House will consider amendments to the NII bill on Wednesday (May 7), and "there is a real possibility to enact the legislation this year," said Gordon.

Added Kerry: "We need to deal more effectively to move nanotechnology products from labs to shelves," adding that enabling legislation is needed to maintain the U.S. lead in nanotech research. Kerry, chairman of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, said he wants to leverage the Small Business Innovation Research program to accelerate nanotech innovation.

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