On February 3, 2009, Representative Mike Honda (D-CA) introduced the Nanotechnology Advancement and New Opportunities (NANO) Act (H.R. 820), which is intended to ensure the development and responsible stewardship of nanotechnology. Honda based the legislation on the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Nanotechnology, a panel of California nanotechnology experts with backgrounds in established industry, startup companies, consulting groups, non-profits, academia, government, medical research, and venture capital convened by Honda and then-California State Controller Steve Westly during 2005.

The NANO Act would:

  • Establish grant programs to address specific challenges in the areas of energy, environment, homeland security, and health;
  • Create a public-private investment partnership to address the gap in commercial availability of nanotechnology;
  • Establish a tax credit for investment in nanotechnology firms;
  • Develop a strategy to increase interaction on nanotechnology interests between Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories and the informal science education community; and
  • Direct the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a program to encourage manufacturing companies to enter into partnerships with occupational training centers for the development of training to support nanotechnology manufacturing.

Honda introduced similar legislation in the previous Congress. The bill has been referred to the following House Committees: Science and Technology; Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means; and Homeland Security.