About the Initiative

The Jordan Valley Innovation Center (JVIC), in collaboration with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), is spearheading a nanotechnology initiative that emphasizes the development of molecular devices and the practical application of nanoscience. With the vision articulated by Jim Baker, former vice president of research and economic development at Missouri State University, JVIC is transforming the way we interact with technology by miniaturizing devices without compromising their power and capability. The initiative is not only pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in terms of product size and efficiency but is also preparing to meet the growing demand for nanotechnology experts.

The ERDC’s partnership with JVIC aims to create a web-enabled tool to assist small businesses in managing regulatory compliance and EHOS risks associated with nanoscale materials. This tool will be informed by industry input through surveys, ensuring it meets the evolving needs of the sector. The initiative is part of a broader commitment to safety and innovation, as evidenced by the significant increase in federal funding for nanotechnology research, from $116 million in 1997 to $849 million in 2004.

Moreover, JVIC’s commitment to innovation is symbolized by the transformation of the old Missouri Farmers Association feed mill into a state-of-the-art hub for science and technology. This facility, acquired for just one dollar and supported by a $7.64 million grant from the Department of Defense, is set to become a central point for thought leadership and research in nanotechnology.

Together, these efforts underscore the mission of JVIC’s nanotechnology initiative: to drive forward the emerging industry of nanotechnology, ensuring that products not only become more compact and powerful but also that the industry itself remains at the forefront of scientific and technological advancement.

Mission Statement

Academic, industry, and government collaboration to bring nanotechnologies to market through life cycle analysis and risk assessment along with stakeholder engagement, decision making, and education.


Nanomaterial-enabled technologies (NET) are nearing commercialization.  However, the potential impacts and risks associated with these technologies including environment, health, and safety (EHS) are not fully understood.  Due to the limited knowledge it has been a challenge to commercialize NET-based products.

The goal of this effort is to create and communicate tools that promote the safe, rapid transition and commercialization of advanced nanomaterials and nanomaterials based technologies.  As a case-study to develop these tools, our focus is on a carbon nanotube (CNT) based sensor technology that is currently being developed by Brewer Science Inc. Using a life cycle approach, this effort will address EHS issues, regulatory requirements, product liability concerns, and identify additional obstacles to future advanced technology commercialization.  As part of the effort, we aim to increase public education, understanding and positive impact from responsible nanomaterial commercialization.

The research team, composed of Missouri State University (MSU), Brewer Science Inc. (BSI), and the Engineer Research and Development Center – Environmental Laboratory (ERDC-EL), will conduct a systematic study on the “cradle to grave” life-cycle analysis (LCA), as well as a life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) on the risks of carbon nanomaterial-based sensor devices.  To accomplish this effort we outline four component activities that describe the tasks, timeline, and products over the next 2-4 years.  The four components are shown below.


This program is unique in that academia, industry, and government organizations work in cooperation to determine the feasibility of deploying NET-based products in a safe and responsible manner. Studies conducted within this program will provide industry with a procedure for decision making, establishing safe workplace protocols, and developing manufacturing processes that have a minimal environmental impact. Simultaneously, these studies will aid government organizations and policy decision makers to establish the most appropriate standards and regulations that will bring NET-enabled technologies to market while ensuring health and environmental safety. To this end, a number of partnerships have been developed to meet the challenges of this effort.


We have an array of information resources concerning how nanomaterial research at JVIC is conducted.


Results of the studies conducted via the Nanotechnology Initiative are openly available for the benefit of the general public.

U.S. Standards Effort Support Assessment of Manufactured Nanomaterials Released in Consumer Products

July 30th, 2021


How technology and environmental studies can affect health

January 10, 2022


Team successfully tests new unmanned autonomous surface vessel

April 15, 2020