Nanotechnology advisory committee formed

By Plant Engineering Staff April 14, 2006

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association created the Nanotechnology Advisory Council, a panel of experts intended to provide guidance to the electrical manufacturing community on this emerging technology.

“President Bush made it clear in his recent State of the Union address that the development of nanotechnology is vitally important to the future of this nation. We agree with the president,” said NEMA President Evan Gaddis. “The establishment of an industry advisory council will help electrical manufacturers take the lead in the development of this revolutionary technology.”

The new council will be a resource for manufacturers interested in the research and public policy implications of nanotechnology development, as they themselves seek to apply the technology to their products. The council will be comprised of nanotechnology experts in academia and government. Council members will be announced in the coming weeks.

Nanotechnology is expected to produce breakthrough performance enhancing applications in photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, sensors, structural materials in electrical equipment and fuel cell technology, among others.

NEMA lighting manufacturers are already studying possible nanotechnology applications. Through the Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance, administered by NEMA, manufacturers are working with the Department of Energy to evaluate the possible use of nanotechnology in solid-state lighting semiconductors. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandates that DOE designate one of five federal nanotechnology research centers as a national solid-state lighting center. Congress has appropriated $5 million to fund it.