ACS Joins Stakeholders Requesting Robust Funding for NIST STRS

April 29, 2022

The Honorable Jeanne Shaheen
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice,
Science, & Related Agencies
Senate Committee on Appropriations
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Jerry Moran
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice,
Science, & Related Agencies
Senate Committee on Appropriations
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Matthew Cartwright
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice,
Science, & Related Agencies
House Committee on Appropriations
H-310 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Robert Aderholt
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice,
Science, & Related Agencies
House Committee on Appropriations
1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairs Shaheen and Cartwright and Ranking Members Moran and Aderholt:

On behalf of the undersigned scientific and engineering societies, industry associations, companies, and universities, we write to express our strong support for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency vital to solving the technical challenges faced by U.S. businesses and academic researchers.

We urge you to provide robust funding support for NIST's Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS) programs and construction account within fiscal year 2023 (FY23) appropriations. We recommend that Congress increase STRS funding at a minimum of $130 million above FY22 to further advance research projects in key areas, including artificial intelligence, quantum, advanced communications and STEM education activities. Finally, due to the ongoing need for repairs and maintenance at NIST facilities, with a current backlog of $834.5 million in deferred maintenance, and the direct impact on NIST's ability to provide critical services to industry, we request $120 million above FY22 for the NIST construction account.

NIST works with our nation's businesses and universities to drive American economic growth and job creation. Companies, academic institutions, and other federal agencies rely on 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 and 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. dominance. The National Quantum Initiative Act, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2018, includes NIST as one of three key agencies that will help ensure the U.S. remains a global leader in quantum. The bill also authorizes the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C), a jointly funded government and private sector collaboration designed to tackle some of the challenges of moving quantum technologies from the lab to market.

In the area of artificial intelligence (AI), NIST is researching the performance and reliability of AI systems to assist in the development of international standards, as well as increase public trust in these systems making way for widespread adoption and innovation. NIST has also been tasked with developing an AI accountability framework to ensure ethical, transparent, and accountable use of AI technologies across all sectors.

In addition to AI and quantum, NIST continues to be a leader in advanced communication research through their work on 5G, position, navigation, and timing (PNT), and internet of things (IoT). The institute􀂶s work on 5G standards is critical to the success of widespread deployment. Regarding IoT, NIST draws on its long history of research on cybersecurity issues to provide recommendations on security standards for the community to mitigate risk and ensure the public trust in these devices. Additionally, NIST has announced plans to accelerate work to identify and promote responsible methods of using PNT services, including GPS, in direct coordination with industry.

Lastly, modern, functional facilities are required for NIST to remain the world-leader in measurement science. Currently, NIST's aging infrastructure cannont consistently support the temperature, humidity, and power requirements for world-class measurements. Recurring failures of these utility systems in recent years has resulted in lost work and costly damage to laboratory facilities. The over 50-year-old facilities in Maryland and Colorado currently have a backlog of $850 million in deferred maintenance.

For FY23 appropriations, we urge increased investment in NIST's core laboratory research programs in the STRS account at a minimum of $980 million. Additionally, we urge Congress to appropriate $200 million for NIST facilities and construction.

Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to working with you as the appropriation process continues.


3D Epitaxial Technologies, LLC
AIM Photonics
American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM)
American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT)
American Chemical Society
American Physical Society
Atom Computing, Inc.
Cisco Systems, Inc.
Coherent Inc.
ColdQuanta, Inc.
Colorado Photonics Industry Association
Compu Dynamics, LLC
Computing Research Association
Cosmic Microwave Technology, Inc.
Cryomech, Inc.
Doddi Information Technologies, Inc.
Frequency Electronics, Inc.
Great Lakes Crystal Technologies
Google LLC
HRL Laboratories, LLC

Inside Quantum Technology/IQT Research
Keysight Technologies
Leonardo DRS
Lockheed Martin Corporation
M-7 Technologies
Materials Research Society (MRS)
Maybell Quantum
Menlo Systems Inc.
Montana Instruments
Morgan State University
New York University
Northeastern University
Northwest Engineering Solutions LLC
Novum Industria LLC
NuCrypt, LLC
Optica (formerly OSA), Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide
Qilalugag, Inc.
Quantum Xchange
QuEra Computing Inc.
Rigetti Computing, Inc

Safe Quantum Inc.
Scout Ventures
Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA)
Southern University and A&M College
SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics
Terranet Ventures
The Quantum Science and Engineering Center at Indiana University
The University of Texas at Dallas
Thorlabs, Inc.
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Southern California
Universities Space Research Association (USRA)
University of Washington
XMA Corporation
Zyvex Labs