Tag Archives: Nano4EARTH

Sign up for Nano4EARTH’s Roundtable Discussion (Batteries and Energy Storage): September 26, 2023 (online or in person)

Given that Nano4Earth was first announced by the US government in October 2022 (see my November 28, 2022 posting), the initiative has been quite active (see my February 27, 2023 posting, “Nano4EARTH workshop recordings available online“).

Now for the latest, from the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) webpage for the batteries and storage roundtable discussion,

Nano4EARTH Roundtable Discussion on Batteries and Energy Storage

September 26, 2023
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET
Online and L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, D.C.

The Nano4EARTH roundtable discussion on batteries and energy storage aims to identify fundamental knowledge gaps, needs, and opportunities to advance current electrification goals. By convening stakeholders from different sectors, backgrounds, and expertise the goal of this roundtable is to identify applicable lessons across the spectrum of technologies, discuss system-specific needs, scalability and commercialization challenges, and potential paths forward. These needs could have a near-term impact on energy efficiency, sustainable development, and climate change. The moderated discussion will tackle all aspects of the topic – ranging from exciting R&D opportunities to commercialization challenges – by featuring a small group of experts from different sectors and backgrounds.

This roundtable is a critical part of the Nano4EARTH National Nanotechnology Challenge, which aims to leverage recent investments in understanding and controlling matter at the nanoscale to develop technologies and industries that address climate change. Nano4EARTH focuses on facilitating opportunities for members of the nanotechnology community to convene, collaborate, and share resources. Nano4EARTH also strives to provide mechanisms that support technology development and commercialization of nanotechnology-enabled climate solutions.

The topic of this roundtable was identified at the Nano4EARTH kick-off workshop (summary readout and video archive) as a particularly promising area that could have an impact in a short time frame (four years or less). This roundtable is the second of four.


Online and the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office: Suite 8001, 470 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20024. Directions are available here.

Registration is now open and you can find the links to online or in person registration on the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) webpage for the batteries and storage roundtable discussion

h/t JD Supra blog’s August 23, 2023 posting

Nano4EARTH workshop recordings available online

Announced in October 2022, the US government’s Nano4EARTH is the Biden-Harris {President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris] Administration’s first national nanotechnology challenge. (You can find out more about the challenge in my November 28, 2022 posting.)

More recently, JD Supra’s February 22, 2023 news item notes Nano4EARTH’s kick-off workshop (Note: Links have been removed),

The kickoff workshop for Nano4EARTH was held January 24-25, 2023. Nano4EARTH will leverage recent investments in understanding and controlling matter at the nanoscale to develop technologies, industries, and training opportunities that address climate change. On January 26, 2023, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a press release summarizing the workshop. According to OSTP, more than 400 people across sectors, with diverse expertise and perspectives, participated in the workshop. OSTP states that discussions focused on identifying nanotechnologies that will have an impact on climate change in four years or less, in addition to sharing resources to address barriers to entrepreneurship and technology adoption. Workshop participants identified goals and metrics to maintain momentum throughout the challenge. New connections and networks spanning federal agencies, non-federal organizations, and industry were created and several examples of collaborations and events centered on nanotechnology and climate change developed organically between participants.

A January 26, 2023 White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) press release, which originated the news item on JD Supra, described some common workshop themes,

  • Battery technology has seen increased adoption in personal vehicles and long-term energy storage solutions, but further advances in Li-ion, as well as new chemistries and architectures, show tremendous and broad potential. It is critical that research directions are well matched with particular use cases.
  • Catalysts leveraging new understandings of nanoscale materials and phenomena could optimize many high-greenhouse gas emitting industrial processes, minimize the need for rare-earth metals, and serve as a precursor for alternative energy sources such as green hydrogen and electrofuels. 
  • Coatings and other material innovations are likely to increase the overall efficiency of nearly any industrial process and lead to more resilient structures and devices, especially in changing and harsh environments. Examples include reflective coatings, corrosion protection, heat management in computing, lubricants and other additives, and membranes for separations. Drop-in solutions would have a more near-term impact.
  • Capture of greenhouse gasses through advanced materials and sorbents (e.g., metal organic frameworks) and nature mimicking processes (e.g., artificial photosynthesis), especially deployed at the point of production, could be impactful but deploying at scale has significant challenges. In the near term, renewable energy production and efficient transmission is worthy of increased attention.

In the months to come, the NNCO will convene a series of roundtable discussions that focus on some of the highest potential nanotechnologies identified at the kick-off workshop. Subject matter experts and federal partners will be asked to match nanotechnology opportunities to urgent climate change needs, with strong consideration of the broader societal needs and impacts. Feedback from the kick-off workshop will also inform additional activities and events to facilitate conversations and collaborations across this growing community.

The US National Nanotechnology Initiative-hosted Nano4EARTH Kick-off Workshop page features the meeting agenda where there are links to video recordings of each session.

US and Nano4EARTH

After such a long time (a couple of years at least), it was nice to come across this update on the US government’s national nanotechnology efforts. From a October 7, 2022 (US) White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) news release (h/t JD Supra October 17, 2022 legal news update),

Today [October 7, 2022], to mark National Nanotechnology Day, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) are making key announcements that aim to advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to leverage the promise of science and technology to benefit all Americans. They also complement the Administration’s ongoing CHIPS and Science Act implementation efforts that will ensure the United States remains a world leader in the industries of tomorrow.

“National Nanotechnology Day is an opportunity to celebrate the NNCO’s – and Biden-Harris Administration’s – efforts to advance research breakthroughs on the nanoscale that impact nearly every scientific discipline and lay the foundation for emerging fields and technologies,” said newly announced National Nanotechnology Coordination Office Director Dr. Branden Brough. “As evidenced by this week’s Nobel Prize announcements highlighting work in quantum information science and click chemistry, the nanotechnology community is leveraging the Nation’s investments in research at the level of atoms and molecules to find solutions to address today’s most pressing challenges, including climate change, pandemic preparedness, and domestic microelectronics manufacturing.”

Biden-⁠Harris Administration’s National Nanotechnology Challenge, Nano4EARTH

The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office is announcing the inaugural National Nanotechnology Challenge, Nano4EARTH. Nano4EARTH will leverage recent investments in understanding and controlling matter at the nanoscale to develop technologies and industries that address climate change. Nano4EARTH recognizes the role nanotechnology plays in: Evaluating, monitoring, and detecting climate change status and trends; Averting future greenhouse gas emissions; Removing existing greenhouse gasses; Training and educating a highly skilled workforce to harness nanotechnology solutions; and developing Higher resilience to – and mitigation of – climate change-induced pressures for improved societal/economic resilience.

The NNCO supports the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), a White House-led initiative that coordinates the nanotechnology R&D activities of 20 federal government agencies. Identified in the 2021 NNI Strategic Plan, National Nanotechnology Challenges are a new mechanism to mobilize and connect the NNI community so it can help to address global societal challenges.

Members of the NNI community – the scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and government leaders developing solutions at the nanoscale – are invited to participate in Nano4EARTH! By doing so, they can support the United States’ goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and inspire and build the STEM workforce capacity that will help develop and implement climate change mitigation and resilience solutions. Links to relevant agency programs, information about the public kick-off workshop, and a link to join a mailing list to get involved can be found on the Nano4EARTH webpage. The Nano4EARTH kick-off workshop (to be held in early 2023) will serve as an information-gathering exercise to identify key feasible outputs of the challenge and effective ways to measure success.

National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) Leadership

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office are announcing Dr. Branden Brough as the new Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) and Dr. Quinn Spadola as its Deputy Director.

Dr. Brough joins the NNCO from the Molecular Foundry, a U.S. Department of Energy-funded nanoscale science research center that provides users from around the world with access to cutting-edge expertise and instrumentation. He will also serve as OSTP’s Assistant Director for Nanotechnology. As the Molecular Foundry’s Deputy Director, Dr. Brough was responsible for helping guide the organization’s scientific plans and initiatives, while also managing the center’s operations. Before joining the Molecular Foundry, Dr. Brough worked at the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, where he led strategic policy and planning activities, as well as Congressional and public outreach efforts. Dr. Brough received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering – focusing on the integration of synthetic motor molecules and natural self-assembling proteins into micro/nanotechnologies – from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Dr. Spadola was the Associate Director of Education for the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), a network of open nanotechnology laboratory user facilities supported by the National Science Foundation, and the Director of Education and Outreach for the Southeastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor NNCI site at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr. Spadola was the Education and Outreach Coordinator and a Technical Advisor to the Director at NNCO. She received her Ph.D. in physics from Arizona State University and her MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking from Montana State University.

Once again, the Climate Change National Nanotechnology Challenge (Nano4EARTH) webpage is here and apparently they aren’t quite ready yet but,

The NNI is planning a Nano4EARTH kick-off workshop! Join our mailing list to get all future updates!