This just in from the House Science Committee:
- On Wednesday, December 3 at 2:10 P.M. in the Oval Office, President Bush will sign S. 189 (PDF, 56.1 KB), the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act into law. Chief House sponsor, Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), will attend the ceremony. The legislation, sponsored in the House by Boehlert and Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), and in the Senate by Senators Ron Wyden (R-OR) and George Allen (R-VA), authorizes nearly $4 billion in research and development into nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology is the manipulation of materials at the atomic scale. The National Science Foundation has estimated that nanotechnology applications may be worth more than $1 trillion in the global economy in little more than a decade. S. 189 puts the President's National Nanotechnology Initiative into law and authorizes $3.7 billion over the next four years for the program. The bill also requires the creation of research centers, education and training efforts, research into the societal and ethical consequences of nanotechnology, and efforts to transfer technology into the marketplace. Finally, the bill authorizes coordination offices, advisory committees and regular program reviews to ensure that taxpayer money is being spent wisely and efficiently.