Scalable Nanomanufacturing Grants Programme

By Michael Saunders

The National Science Foundation, otherwise known as the NSF, is a federal government agency of the United States that is generally answerable for supporting elemental research and education in all of the non-medical fields of science and engineering.

The programs and initiatives of the NSF are all geared towards the accomplishment of its overall agency mission which is "to promote the development of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense."

In keeping with this mission, the National Science Foundation has announced the constitution of the Scalable Nanomanufacturing Grants Program wherein it proposes to deepen and encourage research and education in the area of scalable nanomanufacturing, including the long-term societal implications of the largescale implementation of nanomanufacturing innovations.

At first, the programme was created in response to and is a component of the National Nanotechnology Initiative Signature Initiative: Sustainable Nanomanufacturing - Creating the Industries of the Future.

In the past, there have already been several nanofabrication systems that have demonstrated the ability to produce small amounts of nanomaterials and devices. But the main goal of this initiative is to focus on research studies that can support and facilitate the identification and demonstration of nanomanufacturing processes with high potential to scale to economically and industrially relevant production levels.

The National Science Foundation requires the proposals that'll be submitted under this program to address at least one, and ideally more than one, of the following inter-connected themes:

a) Novel processes and systems for constant and scalable nanomanufacturing;

b) Directed (physical, chemical, biological) self-assembly processes leading to heterogeneous nanostructures with the potential for high-rate production;

c) Basic systematic research in well-defined areas that are compellingly justified as vital roadblocks to scale-up;

d) Guidelines and design techniques to produce machines and processes to manufacture nanoscale structures, devices and systems; and eventually

e) Long-term societal and educational implications of the large-scale production and use of nanomaterials, devices and systems, including the life-cycle analysis of such nanomaterials, devices and systems.

The NSF is willing to administer approximately 4 to 6 grants awards with a total funding amount of $5,300,000.

The establishments and organisations who will be considered eligible to submit an application under the Scalable Nanomanufacturing Grants Program are the following:

a) Accredited Colleges and Universities

b) Two and four-year Colleges

c) Community Colleges and Universities

d) Private and Public Institutions of Higher Education

e) State and Local Governments

f) Nonprofit Organizations.

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