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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.
out its mission in four cooperative programs:
Laboratories, conducting research that advances the nation's
technology infrastructure and is needed by U.S. industry to continually
improve products and services;
National Quality 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;
the Hollings Manufacturing
Extension Partnership, a nationwide network of local centers
offering technical and business assistance to smaller manufacturers;
the 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.)
Between 1990 and 2007, NIST also managed the Advanced Technology Program.
NIST's FY 2008 resources total $931.5 million. The agency operates in two locations: Gaithersburg,
Md., (headquarters234-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 1,600 manufacturing specialists and staff at about 400 MEP service locations around the country.
a Specific NIST Program