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House bill would build on nanotech initiative

The House Science Committee approved legislation Wednesday aimed at enhancing and improving the nation's nanotechnology research and development initiative.

The initiative involving 26 agencies has about $1.5 billion FY08, said Science Chairman Bart Gordon. The legislation does not authorize specific amounts for the program but adjusts to some of the priorities and strengthens one of the core components, environmental and safety research, he said.

Gordon also said the bill "requires accountability" by mandating an accessible database of information on the content and funding for each environmental, health and safety research project supported by the initiative.

House Science ranking member Ralph Hall said his main concern "has been to make sure that we are careful to allow this multi-agency program, which seems to be working well, to continue to have the flexibility it needs to do its work without being over prescriptive. Up to this point, I think we have managed to do that."

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