The National Nanotechnology Advisory Panel (NNAP) was created by the U.S. Congress in the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of 2003, signed by President Bush on December 3, 2003. The Act required the President to establish or designate a NNAP to review the Federal nanotechnology research and development program. On July 23, 2004, President Bush formally designated the PCAST to act as the NNAP.
PCAST members are generally senior managers in major corporations and academia selected for diverse expertise in science and technology issues. The advisory panel is required to report not less frequently than once every two fiscal years on its assessment of the national nanotechnology program and recommendations for ways to improve the program.
The advisory panel has produced three assessments to date, in 2005, 2008, and 2010. The first and second assessments were authored by a subset of PCAST membership, and the third assessment was authored by a working group of three PCAST members and additional external experts, but PCAST as a whole approved the assessments. The first and second assessments created Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Groups, which were comprised of approximately 40 members who provided written responses to questionnaires developed by PCAST. The membership of these groups is not identified in the assessments. The external members of the third assessment's working group were selected by PCAST members and are identified in PCAST's assessment.
- Pub. L. No. 108-153.