The founders' vision is to develop the capabilities of NAC in order for NAC to perform the following important functions:
1. NAC to become a center for inventory and assessment of nanotechnology assets and activities
By doing so, NAC will be able to identify specific areas of opportunities by applying its inventory and assessments for better networking in the field of nanotechnology. In that regard, NAC is pleased to announce the creation of an interactive map that includes all nanotechnology companies in Texas. Please look at http://usasearch.dainfo.com/TexasNanotechnology/Template1/Pages/StartSearchPage.aspx. The Portal includes the top 250 nanotechnology-oriented companies in Texas. The inventory and assessment of nanotechnology assets will be provided to interested parties in order to encourage and facilitate strategic alliances in the field of nanotechnology by leveraging regional and worldwide assets.
2. NAC to become a network for competence in the field of nanotechnology
The purpose of this network of competence would be to create a strong nanotechnology community. Due to its complex and interdisciplinary nature, nanotechnology can be supported not only by centers of technology and science and centers of commercialization that are academically inclined, but in can be supported by the industry and community at large. In order for a state or a region to succeed in nanotechnology, it needs to involve the entire community, including venture capital, corporate attorneys, IP attorneys, municipalities, the government, etc. Initially NAC will focus on providing information to the public to help them understand nanotechnology, its importance, and risks. This will be done professionally, without scare tactics. Despite the fact that many specialists recognize that nanotechnology is poised to revolutionize the world in the 21st century, it is very difficult to convince the general public of the advantages of scientific progress in this world of almost invisible proportions. Microelectronics is easy to explain in terms of a fraction of a diameter of a human hair, but explaining nanotechnology in many cases surpasses any imagination. Yet nanotechnology is capable of catapulting huge areas of science including electronics, materials, medical, etc. The public and the community as a whole must understand and support it.
How will NAC accomplish this? We will try to follow activities in the countries progressive in the field of nanotechnology such as Germany, Finland, Israel and Japan. In addition, NAC will continue with its current activities: NanoExpress (sponsored by Penman PR and Advanced Technology Incubator, Inc.) and the Nanotechnology Colloquium (sponsored by Winstead PC and Applied Nanotech, Inc.). New activities will include:
a) Supporting distance learning program in nanotechnology (no academic credits!);
b) Creating a "Nanotechnology Academy"* for the community at large; * - The Nanotechnology Academy will provide hands-on and "minds-on" continuing education and training in nanotechnology. These classes, initially, will not have academic points value, but will for managers, engineers, technicians, operators, business people, etc., working or desiring to work in the field of nanotechnology. Obviously all public would be invited including service providers, shareholders of nanotechnology companies, venture capitalists, etc. The curriculum of these classes would be developed by competent people that have both industry/business experience and teaching experience. The curriculum will be fine tuned continuously or changed from time to time based on requests and/or the background of the participants.
c) Encouraging vocational training at the level of nanotechnician;
d) Being involved in middle and high school education by providing ideas and advice for nanotechnology experimental kits designed for school students;
e) Organizing information forums for a variety of target groups spreading this way the notion about nanomaterials and nanotechnology:
f) Supporting and promoting nanotechnology educational efforts offered through institutions of higher learning.
3. NAC to become a "lighting rode" for explaining effects on humans and environment and health protection related to nanotechnology
NAC will collect and provide a lot of the information available with respect to potential risks and regulatory framework as related to synthetic nanoparticles and other nanomaterials. NAC also can provide information and sometime directions related to:
a) A framework and conditions for a responsible handling of synthetic nanoparticles;
b) Providing scientific and methodological information how to recognize and prevent possible effects on health and environment;
c) Promoting a public dialogue about the promises and the risks of nanotechnology;
d) Promoting self-supervision and measures of occupational health protection.
NAC is already involved with Prof. Thomas Peters (University of Iowa), a known academician in the field of nanotechnology environment and health protection, working with Applied Nanotech, Inc. under direction of Ms. Betsy Shelton and a grant from NIH.
4. NAC to become a potential partner of and collaborate with similar organizations on national and international levels
As a result of its activities, NAC will establish a large number of international relations. The organization will enhance its activities related to subjects of national and international cooperation with entities such as Fraunhofer Institute, INNI, RusNano, NanoChina, NanoNED (the Netherlands), OSKE (Finland), CNNC (Korea), NEDO (Japan), AIST (Japan) and others. Similarly, NAC will be directly involved with nanotechnology interested parties in policy making and generating subjects of common interests nationally and internationally. One example is the German-Japanese Symposium on Nanotechnology. This organization has existed for a number of years and is organizing on a yearly basis a very fruitful symposium between German and Japanese parties (not necessarily universities) interested to have open discussions about nanotechnology and its future (please reference the newsletter, www.zoz.de). In a similar fashion the new NAC can create symposiums with Germany and Texas, Israel and Texas, Russia and Texas, etc. Furthermore, there are many national organizations in each U.S. state related to nanotechnology are underutilized. For example, Nano-Network New Mexico, MANCEF, Mid-Atlantic Nano, Texas Israel Chamber of Commerce, etc.