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Volume XIII, Number 32

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NNI Reports Its Impact on the U.S. Economy

The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) posted a blog item entitled “Impact of the NNI on the U.S. economy: at least $42 billion in one year!” on November 28, 2022. According to NNI, participating government agencies and departments have invested more than $38 billion over the past 20 years in nanoscale research and development (R&D), establishing the United States “as the leader in the field.” In 2014, the Executive Office of the President’s National Science and Technology Council worked with the U.S. Census Bureau to add a specific code to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) for the purpose of classifying nanotechnology-related businesses. According to NNI, data from the 2017 Economic Census reveal that over 3,700 companies — with over 171,000 employees — self-identified as primarily being in the business of nanotechnology R&D, reporting $42 billion in revenue and $20 billion in employee salaries. NNI notes that the single-year revenue figure of $42 billion in 2017 exceeds the cumulative 20-year NNI investment of $38 billion. Data from the 2022 Economic Census will be available in two to three years.

NNI states that the revenue figure of $42 billion in one year reflects only companies that categorize themselves as primarily being a nanotechnology R&D company. According to NNI, as companies can select only one NAICS code, this figure does not capture the large number of companies who benefit from nanotechnology R&D or include it among a broader portfolio of R&D activities. A company that works at the nanoscale to develop increasingly smaller microprocessors could select one of the computer or semiconductor categories and not nanotechnology R&D, despite its major investments in the field. Therefore, NNI states, the $42 billion revenue figure “likely does not include the economic impact of nanotechnology on the daily lives of U.S. residents through products such as consumer electronics, advanced computing, COVID-19 vaccines and other nanomedicines, drug delivery systems, display technologies, advanced coatings and materials, water filtration and purification systems, battery and solar technologies, and consumer goods.”

©2023 Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 340
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About this Author

Lynn Bergeson, Campbell PC, Toxic Substances Control Act Attorney, federal insecticide lawyer, industrial biotechnology legal counsel, Food Drug Administration law
Managing Partner

Lynn L. Bergeson has earned an international reputation for her deep and expansive understanding of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), European Union Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), and especially how these regulatory programs pertain to nanotechnology, industrial biotechnology, synthetic biology, and other emerging transformative technologies. Her knowledge of and involvement in the policy process allows her to develop client-focused strategies whether...

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Carla Hutto, Bergeson Campbell PC environmental law regulatory analyst,Toxic Substances Control Act law attorney
Regulatory Analyst

Since 1996, Carla Hutton has monitored, researched, and written about regulatory and legislative issues that may potentially affect Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) clients. She is responsible for creating a number of monthly and quarterly regulatory updates for B&C's clients, as well as other documents, such as chemical-specific global assessments of regulatory developments and trends. She authors memoranda for B&C clients on regulatory and legislative developments, providing information that is focused, timely and applicable to client...

202-557-3809
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