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ACS joins NIST Coalition to thank Senate Appropriators

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November 2020

The Honorable Jerry Moran                                                       The Honorable Jeanne Shaheen
Chairman                                                                                       Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice,                                      Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science,
Science, & Related Agencies                                                       & Related Agencies
Senate Committee on Appropriations                                      Senate Committee on Appropriations
521 Dirksen Senate Office Building                                           506 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510                                                              Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairman Moran and Ranking Member Shaheen, 

On behalf of the undersigned scientific and engineering societies, industry associations, companies and universities, we write to thank you for providing funding increases for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the Senate version of the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Act for FY21.

As a coalition we support the overall increase in funding provided for NIST, as well as the prioritization of construction funds. The over 50-year-old facilities in Maryland and Colorado currently have a backlog of $774.4 million in deferred maintenance. As you work with the House to finalize the appropriations for FY21, we encourage appropriators to support as much funding as possible for the construction account to address these vital needs.

NIST is an agency vital to solving the technical challenges faced by U.S. businesses and academic researchers. The funding for the NIST Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS) program will further advance research projects in key areas, including artificial intelligence, 5G, position navigation and timing (PNT), internet of things (IoT) and NIST measurement science programs more broadly. As you work with the House to finalize the appropriations for FY21, we encourage as much funding as possible for the STRS account to support these laboratory research priorities. Additionally, we would like to thank the committee for including a provision that establishes an Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Framework in your report.

Thank you again for your leadership and support for NIST. The NIST Coalition looks forward to working with you as the House and Senate finalize the FY21 appropriations bills and encourage you to continue your support increased investment in NIST.

Sincerely,

American Chemical Society (ACS)
American Physical Society (APS)
IBM
Keysight Technologies
Materials Research Society (MRS)
OSA – The Optical Society
SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics
University of Colorado Boulder