ACS joins NIST Coalition Request For NIST Reauthorization

December 10, 2021

The Honorable Maria Cantwell
Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee
254 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Roger Wicker
Ranking Member
Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee
512 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairwoman Cantwell and Ranking Member Wicker:

The undersigned organizations and companies on behalf of the NIST Coalition write to express our strong support for passage of a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Reauthorization bill this year.

NIST is an agency vital to solving technical challenges faced by U.S. businesses and academic researchers. Companies, academic institutions, and other federal agencies rely on NIST’s Scientific and Technical Research Services (STRS) programs to provide foundational research and material development for their products and programs. NIST supports America’s global competitiveness by aiding businesses to overcome technical obstacles – fulfilling a vital function that companies cannot do themselves. NIST’s core measurement science programs, for example, provide calibrations and standards for industry broadly – from oil and gas to aerospace to medicine. The agency also plays an essential role in emerging industries, such as quantum technology and artificial intelligence, that require foundational measurements to enable U.S. competitiveness.

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee passed the bipartisan National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the Future Act (H.R. 4609) on July 27, 2021 by voice vote. As a coalition, we support this bill and appreciate the added authorities it provides. In particular, provisions that encourage intra-governmental collaboration with NIST are important to ensure the U.S. is fully taking advantage of the world-leading resources available in this great agency. Additionally, we appreciate the inclusion of critical pay authority to recruit and retain the world-class scientific and technical talent needed for NIST to carry out its mission in forefront research in cybersecurity, biometrics testing, and quantum information science and technology. Securing exceptionally well-qualified talent is critical to the fulfilling the Institute’s mission.

Lastly, modern, functional facilities are required for NIST to remain the world-leader in measurement science. NIST’s aging infrastructure has caused recurring failures of utility systems in recent years, resulting in lost work and costly damage to laboratory facilities. We appreciate the path set forward in H.R. 4609 toward increased yearly funding to help alleviate these issues.

Because of their parallel goals to boost support for the nation’s research enterprise, as conference begins on the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (S. 1260), we strongly support inclusion of the NIST for the Future Act as part of those negotiations.


American Association of Physics Teachers
American Chemical Society
American Institute of Physics
American Physical Society
Atom Computing
AVS – The Society for Science and Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing
Computing Research Association
Cosmic Microtech
George Mason University
HRL Laboratories, LLC

Keysight Technologies
M-7 Technologies
Materials Research Society
Optica (formerly OSA)
Security Industry Association
SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics
Terranet Ventures
The American Association of Physicists in Medicine
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Maryland
XMA Corporation