House and Senate Pass Nanotech R&D Bill
November 20, 2003. The House passed S 189, the "21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act", by a voice vote. The Senate amended and passed the bill on November 18.
The bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. George Allen (R-VA) and others, would authorize the appropriation of nearly $4 Billion for nanotechnology research and development programs at a variety of federal agencies.
There was also a House version of the bill, HR 766, sponsored by Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), and others. Rep. Boehlert, who is the Chairman of the House Science Committee, stated in a release that "The U.S. is the leader in nanotechnology and must remain so as this new field starts remaking the marketplace. The nanotechnology program will be a model of government, university, industry cooperation, and of coordination, interdisciplinary research and public involvement."
Rep. Boehlert stated in the House that "The text before us today reflects 2 months of negotiations with the Senate to come up with a final version of the bill. The Senate amended S. 189 with the text of that agreement, and it is that compromise we will be sending on to the President today. This bill is endorsed by a wide variety of high technology and academic organizations including the National Association of Manufacturers, the Semiconductor Industry Association, Intel, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and the Association of American Universities." See, Congressional Record, November 20, 2003, at Page H11682-3.
Rep. Honda (at right) stated that "Nanotechnology is one of the areas of innovation most worthy of investment, as it has the potential to create entirely new industries and radically transform the basis of competition in others."
Rep. Honda stated in the House that "investing in innovation is the key to a vibrant U.S. manufacturing base and continued generation of new jobs. Nanotechnology is one of the areas of innovation most worthy of investment, as it has the potential to create entirely new industries and radically transform the basis of competition in others." See, Congressional Record, November 20, 2003, at H11684-5.
S 189 would authorize funding over four years (FY 2005-2008) for nanotechnology R&D programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Commerce's (DOC) National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The NSF would be receive the largest portion of the funding.
The bill has gone through several revisions since it was introduced in February. See, stories titled "Senate Commerce Committee Approves Nanotech R&D Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 685, June 20, 2003; "Senate Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on Nanotechnology" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 654, May 2, 2003; "House Science Committee Holds Hearing on Nanotechnology" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 641, April 10, 2003; and "Representatives Introduce Bill To Authorize Nanotech R&D Funding" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 606, February 18, 2003.
Under Secretary of Commerce Phillip Bond issued a release that states that "The legislation passed by Congress enacts the President's National Nanotechnology Initiative and authorizes $3.7 billion over the next four years for the program. The legislation 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."
Bond is head of the Department of Commerce's
(DOC) Technology Administration, which includes the NIST, which will be a major
beneficiary of this bill.