Research Community for Nanotechnology Convergence

The NNCI Coordinating Office has organized Research Communities as a new mechanism for NNCI faculty, staff, and users to focus attention on, support, and advance specific and compelling research topics of national priority, including but not limited to the NSF Big Ideas.

Artistic representation of convergence

Research Communities are charged with leading activities and developing products that benefit the larger science and engineering communities, with an emphasis on the role of nanotechnology facilities and open-access university infrastructure.

The Research Community for Nanotechnology Convergence is a collaboration of several NNCI sites including the Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network (RTNN), San Diego Nanotechnology Infrastructure (SDNI), Kentucky Multi-Scale Manufacturing and Nano Integration Node (KY Multiscale), and Nanotechnology Collaborative Infrastructure Southwest (NCI-SW). Nanotechnology facilities of the future will play central roles in tackling wicked and global challenges that require convergence approaches and, in many cases, major adaptation to facilitate convergence.

NSF Definition of Convergence Research

  1. Research Driven by a Specific and Compelling Problem
  2. Deep Integration Across Disciplines

The goal is to bring together researchers and staff from diverse disciplines and perspectives, facilitate their collaboration, and work toward a common vision and public report for the future role of university open-access facilities in this research area.

The Research Community Topic is dynamic and focuses on new convergence research topic annually.

Year 6 Topic: Convergence in Nanotechnology for Food Security

Year 7 Topic: Convergence in Nanotechnology for Additive Manufacturing

Year 8 Topic: Convergence in Nanotechnology for Climate Change

Timeline of Activities

November 2020Announce the Research Community publicly
Open, Online Informational and Planning Meeting to solicit initial ideas and buy-in from potential participants
January – February 2021Host an Open, Online Informational and Planning Meeting
February – October 2021Periodic online meetings/seminars enabled by volunteers
October 2021Online/in-person consensus building meeting (registered guests only) to work toward a report for the future role of nanotechnology facilities in Food Security research
October – December 2021Write public report on future nanotechnology infrastructure needs for Food Security
August 9-10, 2022NNCI Nano & Additive Manufacturing Summit hosted at University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky
August – November 2022Completed Expert Interviews on Nano and Agriculture and analyzed content from our Food and Nutrition Security Workshop; data collection and analysis have nearly been completed and an article is planned for Spring 2023
February 21, 2023Online event to Identify Critical Nanotechnology Opportunities for Addressing Climate Change. Read more and register here:

Call to Action

  1. Interested in joining the mailing list? Simply email with the subject “Convergence List”
  2. Do you have ideas for Nanotechnology Convergence topics for 2024 and beyond? Email them to or

Ideas already floated include nanomedicine, convergence in quantum systems, and convergence in the data revolution.

Convergence research is already ongoing. Our goal is to identify these topics, learn how to contribute to them, and to facilitate them.