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Pryor Seeks to Move Nano Research From Lab to Battlefield

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Pryor Seeks to Move Nano Research From Lab to Battlefield

- Senator Mark Pryor today said nanotechnology research is ready to move from the laboratory to the battlefield. He introduced legislation that will both enhance the Department of Defense's (DoD) nanotechnology research and development program and introduce new technologies to the marketplace. Pryor, who will spend this week crafting the Fiscal Year 2008 Defense Authorization Bill in the Armed Services Committee, said his nanotechnology initiative will help meet our nation's long-term defense challenges.

The Defense Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of 2007 will require the Secretary of Defense to coordinate all nanoscale research and development (R&D) within federal agencies. The bill also directs the Department to develop a strategic plan for defense nanotechnology R&D, issue policy guidance annually to defense agencies that prioritize its research initiatives and implement a strategy for transitioning research into products needed by the Department of Defense.

"The Department of Defense has a proven track record of conducting nanotechnology research and development," said Pryor. "Examples include improved energy absorbing body armor, lightweight batteries for equipment, and more effective chemical and biological sensors. Now is the time to transition research in the laboratory into new technologies and products for the battlefield."

Pryor said the University of Arkansas has more than a dozen researchers in engineering, chemistry and physics working on the research and development of nanotechnology. Their defense applications include stronger, lighter structural materials, chemical-biological-radiation sensors and nanoscale modeling and nanomanufacturing. Additionally, the Nanotechnology Research Center at UALR is performing research and development on activated nanostructures for the de-icing of military aircraft and nanostructure materials for bone and tissue regeneration for wounded warriors. The senator added that small businesses in the state are also contributing to the defense nanotechnology industrial base by developing innovative nanoscale materials, devices, and products.

"Nanotechnology is one of the next great scientific frontiers to enhance war fighting and battle system capabilities," said Pryor. "I'm proud of Arkansas's businesses and universities that are conducting critical research and development to support our troops. My legislation will help move their research and technologies to market."

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