Posts Tagged nanotech

America COMPETES Act and Science Funding

Posted by on Monday, 3 May, 2010

The America COMPETES Act allocates federal money for scientific research programs. The recent legislation reauthorizes this act for 2010. This is good news, since it continues funding in several high tech areas, such as nanotechnology and fusion power. It continues funding to existing sustainable energy research programs such as the ARPA-E grants.

Nanotechnology is one of the areas that this act subsidizes. This includes manufacturing support, as well as environmental and health studies. A problem known as “grey goo” that appears in science fiction stories involves self replicating nanomachines that continue replicating until they destroy the environment. The act provides funding into research about the ethics of nanotechnology and its impact on health and society.

The Act may provide funding into fusion power technology. According to Representative John Garamendi, he has added language that will provide funds for fusion power research. Fusion power research is in the news lately. Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are testing a large scale project that uses an array of high power lasers to heat particles up to millions of degrees.

This act includes additional funding to ARPA-E. Earlier articles mentioned the ARPA-E projects in the first two rounds of funding. Extending this act over several years provides grant money for similar green technology projects. Additionally, new organizations called energy innovation hubs will receive funding, according to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. These are partnerships between university and corporate researchers that design and implement the solar, wind, fusion, and other types of power sources that are developed.