What is Nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology involves the manipulation of matter at the molecular scale and has the potential to fundamentally alter the way people live, by providing new drug delivery systems, faster and cheaper manufacturing processes, cleaner and more efficient energy generation, new materials, clean water and the next generation of computing devices. Nanotechnology can address key Australian economic and social challenges relating to mining and agribusiness; health and medicine; energy and environment; advanced materials and manufacturing; electronics; and information and communication technologies (ICT), which are also the areas where Australia has world-leading scientific expertise.
National Enabling Technologies Strategy
On 13 May 2009 the Australian Government announced the four year National Enabling Technologies Strategy (NETS) to provide a framework for the responsible development of enabling technologies such as nanotechnology and other new technologies as they emerge in Australia. Responsibility for implementing the Strategy rests with three areas of the Department: the National Measurement Institute (NMI); the Enabling Technologies Public Awareness and Community Engagement (PACE) Section and the Enabling Technologies Policy (ETP) Section.
The ETP Section provides policy coordination, facilitates uptake of enabling technologies, and provides secretariat services to several committees linked to NETS. The Public Awareness and Community Engagement (PACE) Section seeks to increase the public's awareness, knowledge and understanding of enabling technologies, including the risks and the benefits, to enable a more informed public debate.