Two decades of extensive investment in nanomaterials, nanofabrication and nanometrology have provided the global engineering community a vast array of new technologies. These technologies not only promise radical change to traditional industries, such as transportation, information and aerospace, but may create whole new industries, such as personalized medicine and personalized energy harvesting and storage. The challenge today for the defense aerospace community is determining how to accelerate the conversion of these technical opportunities into concrete benefits with quantifiable impact, in conjunction with identifying the most important outstanding scientific questions that are limiting their utilization. For example, nanomaterial fabrication delivers substantial tailorablity beyond a traditional material data sheet. How can we integrate this tailorability into agile manufacturing and design methods to further optimize the performance, cost and durability of future resilient aerospace systems? The intersection of nano-based metamaterials and nanostructured devices with biotechnology epitomizes the technological promise of autonomous systems and enhanced human-machine interfaces. What then are the key materials and processes challenges that are inhibiting current lab-scale innovation from being integrated into functioning systems to increase effectiveness and productivity of our human resources? Where innovation is global, accelerating the use of breakthroughs, both for commercial and defense, is essential. Exploitation of these opportunities and finding solutions to the associated challenges for defense aerospace will rely on highly effective partnerships between commercial development, scientific innovation, systems engineering, design and manufacturing.