ACS Joins NIST Coalition in Supporting Creation of NIST Foundation

June 25, 2024

The Honorable Mike Johnson
US House of Representatives
H-232 Capitol Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Hakeem Jefferies
Minority Leader
US House of Representatives
H-204 Capitol Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Johnson and Leader Jefferies:

The below company, academic and non-profit organizations write to you today to praise the House Science, Space and Technology Committee passage of the Expanding Partnerships for Innovation and Competitiveness Act (HR 8673) to establish a Foundation for Standards and Metrology within the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), providing a pathway to a more resilient future for the institute.

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 (AI), cybersecurity and digital identity 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.

NIST plays an especially instrumental role in the field of AI. This is exemplified in the recent Executive Order 14110 on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence, which aims to build U.S. capacity to evaluate and mitigate the risks of AI systems and promoting an innovative, competitive AI ecosystem. The EO mandates NIST to develop meaningful evaluation guidelines, testing environments, and information resources to help organizations develop, deploy, and use AI technologies that are safe and secure, and that enhance AI trustworthiness. It is therefore more urgent than ever that NIST receives proper funding to fulfill its growing responsibilities.

Lastly, modern, functional facilities are required for NIST to remain the world-leader in measurement science. NIST currently has a backlog of over $1 billion in deferred maintenance at their 50+ year-old laboratories in Maryland and Colorado. Recurring failures of these utility systems in recent years have resulted in lost work and costly damage. A study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends more than tripling the agency’s current construction and maintenance budget annually for at least 12 years.

Unfortunately, annual funding for NIST has not kept up with their needs or the growing demands
being placed on this institution. Establishing a Foundation for Standards and Metrology will not
only provide a new mechanism for funding but will also foster the advancement of science and
technology. By investing in the National Institute of Standards and Technology, we invest in the
very foundation of our nation's ingenuity, ensuring that we continue to lead the world in research,
standards, and groundbreaking discoveries.

We are grateful to Representative Haley Stevens and Representative Jay Obernolte for their
leadership on this very important issue and request swift consideration and passage through the
full House of Representatives.


3D Epitaxial Technologies
American Chemical Society
American Physical Society
Association of Public Land Grant Universities
Bluefors Cryocooler Technologies Inc
Colorado Photonics Industry Association
Florida Photonics Cluster
George Mason University
Great Lakes Crystal Technologies, Inc.
HKA Marcom
INA Solutions Inc
Infiltron Software Suite
Infinera Corporation
Keysight Technologies
M-7 Technologies
Materials Research Society

Nokia of America Corporation
Northwest Engineering Solutions
Phillip Singerman, a former NIST Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services (2011-2020)
Rigetti Computing, Inc.
Safe Quantum Inc.
Southern University and A&M College
Swain Techs
Taskforce for American
Terranet Ventures
The Laser Institute of America

The University of Texas at Dallas
Thorlabs Inc.
TOPTICA Photonics
University of Colorado, Boulder
University of Maryland, College Park
Willie May, a former U/S of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Director of NIST
Zyvex Labs LLC