PCAST: Report to the President and Congress on the Fifth Assessment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (2014)

Subject Area:
Non-NNI Reports
External Evaluations of the NNI
Author: Executive Office of the President; President's Council of Advisors of Science and Technology (PCAST)
Publication Date: Oct. 10 2014


The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) is a crosscutting national vision for nanotechnology development in the United States. The Federal effort in nanotechnology coordinates U.S. investment in research and development (R&D) in nanoscale science, engineering, technology, and related activities across the U.S. Government. In FY2014, even though five agencies garnered 93 percent of the Federal spending in nanotechnology R&D, 27 agency units from 20 top‐level Federal entities participated in nanotechnology activities. The 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of 2003 calls for a National Nanotechnology Advisory Panel to review the NNI periodically. Designated in 2004 to be that panel, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) has reviewed the NNI five times, and this report is the third of this Administration’s PCAST.  

Nanotechnology Fact

Nanotechnology has the potential to create many new jobs across a variety of sectors. While some jobs, will require an advanced degree, a 2014 study funded by the National Science Foundation points out that 2-yr and 4-yr training with access to continuing and technical education will be sufficient for many of the future positions in nanotechnology, nanomanufacturing, and beyond.                                                                                                             

Previous estimates stated that 6 million nanotechnology jobs will be needed by 2020, with 2 million of those jobs in the United States (Roco, Mirkin, and Hersam 2010). According to the U.S. News/Raytheon analysis, the number of STEM jobs increased 20 percent between 2000 and 2014. Looking ahead, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2012 and 2022, employment in occupations that NSF classifies as science and engineering (S&E) will increase 15 percent. To find out about nanotechnology programs at college and graduate levels, see College and Graduate Programs. If you are interested in 2-year degrees or training programs, see Associate Degrees, Certificates, & Job Info.


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