From the smart electric power grid and electronic health records to atomic clocks, advanced nanomaterials, and computer chips, innumerable products and services rely in some way on technology, measurement, and standards provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Founded in 1901, NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST’s mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.
NIST carries out its mission through the following programs:
the NIST Laboratories, conducting world-class research, often in close collaboration with industry, that advances the nation’s technology infrastructure and helps U.S. companies continually improve products and services;
the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a nationwide network of local centers offering technical and business assistance to smaller manufacturers to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money; and
the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which promotes performance excellence among U.S. manufacturers, service companies, educational institutions, health care providers, and nonprofit organizations; conducts outreach programs; and manages the annual Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award which recognizes performance excellence and quality achievement;
From 2007 to 2011, NIST provided cost-shared grants through the Technology Innovation Program, and between 1990 and 2007, it managed the Advanced Technology Program.
NIST’s FY 2012 resources total $750.8 million from the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-55), with an estimated additional annual income of $62.7 million in service fees, and $128.9 million from other agencies.
The agency operates in two locations: Gaithersburg, Md., (headquarters—234-hectare/578-acre campus) and Boulder, Colo., (84-hectare/208-acre campus). NIST employs about 2,900 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support and administrative personnel. Also, NIST hosts about 2,600 associates and facility users from academia, industry, and other government agencies. In addition, NIST partners with 1,300 manufacturing specialists and staff at about 350 MEP service locations around the country.
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