Congress of the United States


Date of this Version



Published by Congressional Research Service,, RS20589


The Bush Administration has requested $1.277 billion for nanotechnology research for FY2007, $24 million less than the estimated $1.301billion appropriated level for FY2006. (See Table 1.) Nanotechnology is a newly emerging field of science where scientists and engineers are beginning to manipulate matter at the molecular and atomic levels in order to obtain materials and systems with significantly improved properties. Ten nanometers is equal to one-ten thousandths the diameter of a human hair. Proponents of this technology argue that nanotechnology will lead to a new industrial revolution in the 21st century. Scientists note that nanotechnology is still in its infancy, with large scale practical applications 10 to 30 years away. Congressional concerns include funding for the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), the potential environmental and health concerns associated with the development and deployment of nanotechnology, and the need to adopt international measurement standards for nanotechnology.