February 7, 2002
The $2.12 trillion budget the Bush administration submitted to Congress this week calls for huge increases in spending for nanotechnology research, including a 17% boost in the National Nanotechnology Initiative, to $679 million.
"It's a nice healthy jump, particularly in some tight budgetary times," says Mark Modzelewski, executive director of the NanoBusiness Alliance. Funds from the Initiative currently go into research grants at major universities, but there's also legislation in the works that would create public-private partnerships for nanotechnology research, he says. Among the areas of research affected are quantum computing, which would create incredibly powerful, tiny and efficient computers; research into advanced lithography in chip making; and studies into building advanced carbon nanotubes, potentially used in everything from semiconductor manufacturing to producing high-quality flat-screen monitors. Increased budgets in other areas, such as for NASA, climate-change studies, and research and development into networking technologies, will also support nanotechnology research, Modzelewski says. "There are aspects where nanotechnology can even apply to homeland defense," he says, including the construction of high-tech emulsions capable of killing anthrax spores.
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