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Nanotechnology: Where Does the U.S. Stand?

Date: 
Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - 12:00am
Location: 
Washington, D.C.

Opening Statement By Hon. Darlene Hooley

Mr. Chairman, today the Research Subcommittee concludes its review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, or the NNI, which we began with a hearing on May 18th.  Just prior to the May hearing, I was astonished to learn that the Administration had prevented the appearance of the co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology to present the Council’s Congressionally-mandated report on the NNI.

Subsequently, the Science Committee ably laid out for the White House our objections to that decision.  The decision was reconsidered, and I am happy to say, reversed.  And as a result, our witnesses this morning include Mr. Floyd Kvamme, who I am extremely pleased to welcome to the hearing.  We will now be able to hear from a key author of the report that provides the initial biennial assessment of the NNI.  This assessment covers both the content and the management of this important $1 billion per year R&D initiative.

One aspect of the NNI of great interest to me is how the initiative helps to facilitate the commercialization of nanotechnology.  In today’s testimony we see that Lux Research projects that nanotechnology will impact nearly every category of manufactured good over the next 10 years, becoming incorporated into 15% of global manufacturing output totaling $2.6 trillion in 2014.  We clearly need to ensure that the United States is a major player in this market and fares well against strong international competition.

During the Subcommittee’s May hearing, we heard about investments underway in the States to advance nanotechnology and to foster the transition of research results into new products and applications.  For example, one of our witnesses, Dr. John M. Cassady from Oregon State University, described the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnology Institute.  ONAMI is a collaboration between Oregon's three major research universities, Federal research agencies, and the state's thriving high-tech sector.

There was a general consensus among the witness at the May hearing that federal nanotechnology funding should include support for applied, pre-competitive research.  I will be interested in the views of Mr. Kvamme and our other panelists today on how we can ensure that the Nation gains the full benefit of the large Federal basic research investment being made in nanotechnology.  In particular, I would like your suggestions on the kinds of activities that will ensure effective technology transfer to the private sector.

Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for calling this hearing and thank our witnesses for appearing before the Subcommittee today.  I look forward to our discussion.

Download the opening statement text.

Witnesses

Panel

1 - Floyd Kvamme
Co-Chair, President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
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2 - Jim O'Connor
Vice President of Intellectual Property Incubation and Commercialization Motorola, Inc. Motorola, Inc.
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3 - Sean Murdock
Executive Director NanoBusiness Alliance NanoBusiness Alliance
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4 - Matthew Nordan
Vice President of Research Lux Research Inc. Lux Research Inc.
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Transcript
Link to Government Printing Office PDF file Link to text version Link to text version with speaker index
Serial 109-21
109th Congress