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S. 1482 (111th): National Nanotechnology Initiative Amendments Act of 2009

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

7/21/2009--Introduced. National Nanotechnology Initiative Amendments Act of 2009 - Amends the 21st Century Nanotechology Research and Development Act to expand the scope of the National Nanotechnology Program (the Program), including directing the Program to utilize the perspectives of the industrial community to promote the rapid commercial development of nanoscale-enabled devices, systems, and technologies and to coordinate research in determining the key physical and chemical characteristics of nanoparticles and nanomaterials that may pose environmental, health, and safety risks.

Requires issuing guidance to agencies that describes a strategy for transitioning research into commercial products and technologies and how the Program will coordinate or conduct research on the environmental, health, and safety issues related to nanotechnology.

Revises requirements regarding the Program's triennial strategic plans.

Requires participating agencies to support the activities of the committees of standards setting bodies involved in the development of standards for nanotechnology.

Requires the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office to be supported by funds from each participating agency. Authorizes appropriations to: (1) the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the development of nanotechnology standards; and (2) the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the development of a public information database of projects in certain program component areas.

Makes the National Nanotechnology Advisory Panel a distinct entity. Instructs the Panel to establish a subpanel to enable it in assessing whether societal, ethical, legal, environmental, and workforce concerns are adequately addressed by the Program.

Rewrites provisions for triennial external review of the Program.

Designates a Coordinator for Societal Dimensions of Nanotechnology, who shall convene a panel to develop a research plan. Requires the Coordinator to enter into an arrangement with the National Science Board to create a report in support of such plan that identifies the broad goals and needs of environmental, health, and safety researchers.

Establishes an Education Working Group to coordinate, prioritize, and plan formal and informal educational activities supported under the Program.

Provides for one or more grants to establish Nanotechnology Education Partnerships to recruit and help prepare secondary school students to pursue postsecondary level courses in nanotechnology.

Requires agencies supporting nanotechnology research facilities to provide access to representatives from industry and other stakeholders for the transfer of research results or assist in developing prototypes of nanoscale products, devices, or processes.

Sets forth provisions concerning nanotechnology related projects under existing nanotechnology transfer programs. Makes it an objective of the Program to establish industry liaison groups.

Requires coordination and leveraging of federal investments with nanotechnology research, development, and technology transition initiatives.

Requires the Program to include support for nanotechnology research and development in areas of national importance, such as energy production, water purification, agriculture, and health care, and to additionally support research that addresses the environment, health, and safety risks of nanoparticles and the ethical, legal, and societal issues related to nanotechnology.

Requires the Program to support nanomanufacturing research, including in green nanomanufacturing.

Requires specified reviews by the Advisory Panel of certain program component areas and nanotechnology research facilities.

Sets forth provisions regarding nanoscale characterization and metrology.

Requires deliberative public input in the decision making processes affecting policies for the research, development, and use of nanotechnology.