Government Nanotech Challenges

The U.S. Government sponsors a number of challenges and contents to drive innovation. These are the nanotechnology-related prizes available.

The U.S. Government sponsors a number of challenges and contents to drive innovation. These are nanotechnology-related prizes currently available. For a comprehensive list of challenges, visit

State Department's U.S. ASPIRE 2017

The APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE Prize) is an annual award launched in 2011 during the U.S. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) host year. Each year the APEC host economy provides a theme to guide nominations for the ASPIRE Prize to be awarded in their host year. For its host year of 2017, Viet Nam selected "New Material Technologies” as the ASPIRE nominating theme. This interdisciplinary theme focused on how advanced materials and processing technologies are used to drive scientific innovation.


NIST's Federal Impact Assessment Challenge

The Federal Impact Assessment Challenge calls on participants to write an original paper describing a retrospective study of the economic or societal impacts (or both) resulting from any technology developed completely or in part by federal researchers and then transferred outside of their agency. The technology must have been transferred in a manner that can be traced back to that agency, for example through licensing, publications or collaborative research agreements.

Green Chem logoThe Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge

These awards promote the environmental and economic benefits of novel green chemistry. These prestigious annual awards recognize chemical technologies that incorporate green chemistry into chemical design, manufacture, and use. EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention sponsors the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards in partnership with the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute® and other members of the chemical community. The 2017 cycle is now open.

NCI logoNanotechnology Startup Challenge in Cancer

Winners have been announced in the Nanotechnology Startup Challenge in Cancer! The Center for Advancing Innovation and the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute partnered to launch the Nanotechnology Startup Challenge in Cancer. This Challenge featured inventions conceived and developed by scientists at the National Institutes of Health and was open to teams that bring other promising cancer nanotechnology inventions. The goal of the challenge was to accelerate and increase the volume of commercialized cancer nanotechnology by launching new startups. Stay tuned for new NIH and NCI sponsored challenges.