The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office leads two major efforts to enhance coordination and collaboration among the participating agencies of the National Nanotechnology Initiative and to engage with the public: Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives and Nanotechnology-Enabled Grand Challenges.
Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives are multiagency initiatives designed to accelerate nanotechnology development in topical areas of national importance. Currently, there are five such initiatives, focusing on water sustainability, sensors, nanomanufacturing, nanotechnology, and the nanotechnology knowledge infrastructure.
Nanotechnology-Enabled Grand Challenges were adopted in 2016 as a mechanism to bring together the NNI collaboration ecosystem, including the Federal Government, industry, and academia, to pursue ambitious but achievable goals that address problems confronting the Nation. In 2015, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced the first Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenge, challenging the community to create a new type of computer that can proactively interpret and learn from data, solve unfamiliar problems using what it has learned, and operate with the energy efficiency of the human brain.