Recommendation P2. The Air Force should concentrate its efforts in micro-and nanotechnology on basic research at the front end and on Air Force-specific applications at the back end.

Finding P3. The Air Force has recognized the importance of micro- and nanotechnologies for its future capabilities and has begun a planning process to maximize the benefits of its in-house and extramural research programs. Strong leadership will be necessary to ensure maximum benefit from the Air Force Research Laboratory research programs.

Recommendation P3. It will be critical to continue the planning for micro-and nanotechnologies at the highest levels of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). AFRL should also strengthen its external review processes to assist the leadership and to ensure that its work is well coordinated with national efforts. The Air Force should coordinate its initiatives with other federal agencies and work to build collaborative programs where appropriate.

Finding P4. The committee perceived a lack of consistency in the quality of current in-house Air Force programs and in the benchmarking of those programs against the large number of programs under way throughout the world.

Recommendation P4. Considering that micro- and nanotechnology is a new and rapidly emerging interdisciplinary field, the Air Force should critically evaluate its efforts in micro- and nanotechnology to select areas of strong potential payoff for Air Force missions and to sustain the highest-quality program.


1. International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors. 2001. Available online at <> [July 1, 2002].

2. MEMS Industry Group. 2001. 2001 Annual Report. Available online at <> [July 2, 2002].

3. National Science and Technology Council. 2000. National Technology Initiative: The Initiative and Its Implementation Plan. Available online at <> [July 2, 2002].

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