Nanotech made headlines on June 9, 2011. Tom Kalil from the Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) wrote about nanotechnology, informing readers about regulatory updates in nanotechnology. A series of government agencies including the OSTP, EPA, FDA, USTR, and OMB issued guidance on nanotechnology regulation. Goals include:

  • consistent approaches across different emerging technologies
  • protection of public health and environment
  • avoid unjustifiably inhibiting innovation
  • avoid stigmatizing new technologies
  • avoid creating trade barriers

A working group will push ahead on responsible regulation of nanotechnology. While these materials, Tom Kalil’s blog post “Responsible Realization of Nanotechnology's Full Potential”, a June 9, 2011 memorandum for the heads of executive departments and agencies, a posting on the FDA site, “Considering Whether an FDA-Regulated Product Involves the Application of Nanotechnology," are very general and preliminary, they confirm that nanotechnology is a “top priority” for the Obama Administration. Nanotechnology is a central driver to more publicized technologies such as cleantech and biotech. The Obama Administration, after more than two years, finally is exhibiting awareness for this important reality. In addition, however, the Obama Administration should also work with the venture capital and angel communities to encourage investment in nanotech from the private sector. Besides nanotechnology, synthetic biology was also noted.