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The 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act is a U.S. Federal law which authorizes programs for nanoscience, nanoengineering, and nanotechnology research. It was signed into law by President George Bush on December 3, 2003. The Act establishes in statute a National Nanotechnology Research Program with a National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, and through the authorized partners (National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Environmental Protection Agency), requires the awarding of grants and the creation of nanotechnology research centers on a competitive basis. It also provides for a research program to identify the ethical, legal, environmental, and other societal concerns related to nanotechnology. The legislation is not intended to limit research and development to the physical sciences but rather is intended to include a wide variety of research, including the biotechnology- nanotechnology interface, with applications ranging from industrial manufacturing to advances in medicine to breakthroughs in defense against bioterrorism.