The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Office of Congressional and government Affairs
At A Glance
Public Law
: 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act
: 108-153
Session: 108th Congress (First Session)

The following are excerpts, highlighted in red, from the final legislation and/or conference report which contain mentions of the National Academies, including studies. (Pound signs [##] between passages denote the deletion of unrelated text.)

S 189 Wyden (D.-Ore.) 11/20/03
Enrolled (finally passed both houses)

A bill to authorize appropriations for nanoscience, nanoengineering, and nanotechnology research, and for other purposes.
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(a) IN GENERAL.—The President shall establish or designate a National Nanotechnology Advisory Panel.

(b) QUALIFICATIONS.—The Advisory Panel established or designated by the President under subsection (a) shall consist primarily of members from academic institutions and industry. Members of the Advisory Panel shall be qualified to provide advice and information on nanotechnology research, development, demonstrations, education, technology transfer, commercial application, or societal and ethical concerns. In selecting or designating an Advisory Panel, the President may also seek and give consideration to recommendations from the Congress, industry, the scientific community (including the National Academy of Sciences, scientific professional societies, and academia), the defense community, State and local governments, regional nanotechnology programs, and other appropriate organizations.

(c) DUTIES.—The Advisory Panel shall advise the President and the Council on matters relating to the Program, including assessing—

(1) trends and developments in nanotechnology science and engineering;

(2) progress made in implementing the Program;

(3) the need to revise the Program;

(4) the balance among the components of the Program, including funding levels for the program component areas;

(5) whether the program component areas, priorities, and technical goals developed by the Council are helping to maintain United States leadership in nanotechnology;

(6) the management, coordination, implementation, and activities of the Program; and

(7) whether societal, ethical, legal, environmental, and workforce concerns are adequately addressed by the Program.

(d) REPORTS.—The Advisory Panel shall report, not less frequently than once every 2 fiscal years, to the President on its assessments under subsection (c) and its recommendations for ways to improve the Program. The first report under this subsection shall be submitted within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act. The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall transmit a copy of each report under this subsection to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology, the House of Representatives Committee on Science, and other appropriate committees of the Congress.

(e) TRAVEL EXPENSES OF NON-FEDERAL MEMBERS.—Non-Federal members of the Advisory Panel, while attending meetings of the Advisory Panel or while otherwise serving at the request of the head of the Advisory Panel away from their homes or regular places of business, may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by section 5703 of title 5, United States Code, for individuals in the government serving without pay. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit members of the Advisory Panel who are officers or employees of the United States from being allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with existing law.

(f) EXEMPTION FROM SUNSET.—Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act shall not apply to the Advisory Panel.


(a) IN GENERAL.—The Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office shall enter into an arrangement with the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a triennial evaluation of the Program, including—

(1) an evaluation of the technical accomplishments of the Program, including a review of whether the Program has achieved the goals under the metrics established by the Council;

(2) a review of the Program’s management and coordination across agencies and disciplines;

(3) a review of the funding levels at each agency for the Program’s activities and the ability of each agency to achieve the Program’s stated goals with that funding;

(4) an evaluation of the Program’s success in transferring technology to the private sector;

(5) an evaluation of whether the Program has been successful in fostering interdisciplinary research and development;

(6) an evaluation of the extent to which the Program has adequately considered ethical, legal, environmental, and other appropriate societal concerns;

(7) recommendations for new or revised Program goals;

(8) recommendations for new research areas, partnerships, coordination and management mechanisms, or programs to be established to achieve the Program’s stated goals;

(9) recommendations on policy, program, and budget changes with respect to nanotechnology research and development activities;

(10) recommendations for improved metrics to evaluate the success of the Program in accomplishing its stated goals;

(11) a review of the performance of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office and its efforts to promote access to and early application of the technologies, innovations, and expertise derived from Program activities to agency missions and systems across the Federal Government and to United States industry;

(12) an analysis of the relative position of the United States compared to other nations with respect to nanotechnology research and development, including the identification of any critical research areas where the United States should be the world leader to best achieve the goals of the Program; and

(13) an analysis of the current impact of nanotechnology on the United States economy and recommendations for increasing its future impact.

(b) STUDY ON MOLECULAR SELF-ASSEMBLY.—As part of the first triennial review conducted in accordance with subsection (a), the National Research Council shall conduct a one-time study to determine the technical feasibility of molecular self-assembly for the manufacture of materials and devices at the molecular scale.

(c) STUDY ON THE RESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT OF NANOTECHNOLOGY.—As part of the first triennial review conducted in accordance with subsection (a), the National Research Council shall conduct a one-time study to assess the need for standards, guidelines, or strategies for ensuring the responsible development of nanotechnology, including, but not limited to—

(1) self-replicating nanoscale machines or devices;

(2) the release of such machines in natural environments;

(3) encryption;

(4) the development of defensive technologies;

(5) the use of nanotechnology in the enhancement of human intelligence; and

(6) the use of nanotechnology in developing artificial intelligence.

(d) EVALUATION TO BE TRANSMITTED TO CONGRESS.—The Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office shall transmit the results of any evaluation for which it made arrangements under subsection (a) to the Advisory Panel, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Science upon receipt. The first such evaluation shall be transmitted no later than June 10, 2005, with subsequent evaluations transmitted to the Committees every 3 years thereafter.



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