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National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

100 Bureau Drive, Stop 1070
20899-1070 Gaithersburg

Short description

From automated teller machines and atomic clocks to mammograms and semiconductors, 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 in four cooperative programs: *the NIST Laboratories, conducting research that advances the nation's technology infrastructure and is needed by U.S. industry to continually improve products and services; *the Baldrige National Quality Program, which promotes performance excellence among U.S. manufacturers, service companies, educational institutions, and health care providers; conducts outreach programs and manages the annual Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award which recognizes performance excellence and quality achievement; *he Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a nationwide network of local centers offering technical and business assistance to smaller manufacturers; and *he Technology Innovation Program, which is planned to provide cost-shared awards to industry, universities and consortia for research on potentially revolutionary technologies that address critical national and societal needs. (Note: This is a newly created program that has been authorized by Congress but has not yet received appropriations.) *Between 1990 and 2007, NIST also managed the Advanced Technology Program. NIST has an operating budget of about $843 million and operates in two locations: Gaithersburg, Md., (headquarters—234-hectare/578-acre campus) and Boulder, Colo., (84-hectare/208-acre campus). NIST employs about 2,800 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 1,600 manufacturing specialists and staff at nearly 440 MEP service locations around the country.

More about National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • News

    It's a beauty: JILA's quantum crystal is now more valuable

    Physicists at JILA have made their "quantum crystal" of ultracold molecules more valuable than ever by packing about five times more molecules into it. The denser crystal will help scientists unlock the secrets of magnets and other, more exotic materials. The crystal is actually a gas of pa ... more

    Scientists float new approach to creating computer memory

    What can skyrmions do for you? These ghostly quantum rings, heretofore glimpsed only under extreme laboratory conditions, just might be the basis for a new type of computer memory that never loses its grip on the data it stores. Now, thanks to a research team including scientists from the N ... more

    Twisting neutrons

    It's easy to contemplate the wave nature of light in common experience. White light passing through a prism spreads out into constituent colors; it diffracts from atmospheric moisture into a rainbow; light passing across a sharp edge or a diffraction grating creates an interference pattern. ... more

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