As Fiscal Year 2009 funding for the National Nanotechnology Initiative is proposed, those in charge of writing the reauthorization for FY 2009 need to be aware of the importance of funding necessary for active U.S. participation in international nanotechnology metrology and standards development work.
Indeed the President's budget calls for an increase of more than 50% in funding for instrumentation research, metrology and standards ($82 million in 2009 up from $53 million in 2008). But the language is vague and doesn't clarify the scope of activity to which funding applies. It is critical that reauthorized funding include delegate participation in international meetings where key decisions are made, particularly as the volume of projects increases. Otherwise, industries from other regions around the world who already get government support for their research work and participation will continue to gain an advantage over U.S.-based firms.
NEMA can be instrumental in getting this necessary language included in the reauthorization bill.