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Public Policy

IMM has played a key role in constructive development of public policy for molecular manufacturing. One of our most significant accomplishments is the ongoing development of the Foresight Guidelines for Responsible Nanotechnology Development in collaboration with the Foresight Nanotech Institute.

In 2002 we prepared a white paper, “Balancing the National Nanotechnology Initiative’s R&D Portfolio,” for the Office of Science and Technology Policy, in which we pointed out that the NNI should fund high risk/high payoff research such as molecular manufacturing, in addition to the lower-risk research that they were funding. We recommended that the NNI perform a feasibility analysis of molecular nanotechnology in order to address the criticisms. This ultimately led to the first serious consideration of molecular manufacturing at the national level, in the National Research Council’s 2006 report, “A Matter of Size: Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative.” While the language in the report is guarded, the feasibility is conceded along with caveats regarding efficiency and error rates.