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Report Identifies Nanotechnology As One Of Three Key R&D; Priorities For Future Manufacturing

March 14, 2008

A new report published today identifies and describes research and development priorities for the future of three critical, high-tech U.S. manufacturing areas – hydrogen energy technologies, nanomanufacturing, and intelligent and integrated manufacturing. The report, Manufacturing the Future: Federal Priorities for Manufacturing R&D;, was prepared by the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Manufacturing R&D; of the National Science and Technology Council’s (NSTC) Committee on Technology.

“Our objective was to focus on issues of national importance, and to identify manufacturing areas that have the potential to deliver major benefits to the economy,” said David Stieren, executive secretary of the group that produced the report and technology deployment manager of the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership. “These benefits include creating new jobs, enhancing manufacturing competitiveness and making progress toward accomplishing major national goals,” he said.

Competing successfully in today’s fast-paced global community requires rapid innovation, research and production methods to cost-effectively bring products to market. The report describes the significance of each of the three critical manufacturing R&D; areas, details the challenges essential for progress, discusses existing interagency collaborations and provides recommendations for future research.

The report cites these manufacturing areas as being important to U.S. economic and national security. It identifies these areas as potentially leveraging scientific and technological advances to transform knowledge and materials into valuable products. Much of this research falls under the American Competitiveness Initiative, a government-funded mandate to increase investments in R&D;, education and entrepreneurship. These manufacturing areas also correspond to existing priorities established by the federal government through the President’s Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, the National Nanotechnology Initiative and the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program.

Technical staff members from NIST served as chair and executive secretary of the Interagency Working Group, and oversaw the drafting of the final report. The report is available online at

The Interagency Working Group included representatives from 15 member departments, agencies and organizations in the federal government, including:
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Transportation
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • National Science Foundation
  • Small Business Administration
  • Office of Management and Budget
  • Office of Science and Technology Policy
View this article online at the NIST Web site and download the Manufacturing the Future: Federal Priorities for Manufacturing R&D; report

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