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National Institute of Standards and Technology - GovITwiki


National Institute of Standards and Technology

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Background

Known from around the turn of the century through 1988 as National Bureau of Standards this agency is now named the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or, more informally, as NIST. It is an agency within the Commerce Department and with a mission to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance U.S. economic security and improve quality of life.

NIST scientists and engineers work to refine the technology of very precise measurement, which is often needed for todays manufacturing technologies. The agency focuses on four key areas: biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology and advanced manufacturing. NIST also is involved in standards development and testing done by the private sector and government agencies, though it is not a regulatory organization.

Approximately 2,900 people work at NIST. It also has about 1,800 associates or guest researchers and engineers from domestic companies and other nations.

NIST had an operating budget for fiscal year 2007 (October 1, 2006-September 30, 2007) of about $843.3 million.

Contents

Facilities

The institutes's headquarters is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It also has laboratories in Boulder, Colorado. The boulder facility houses NIST-F1, one of the world's two most accurate atomic clocks. (The other is in Paris, France). This boulder clock is the source of the nation's official time.

The organization's four major programs are:

  • NIST Laboratories (physics, information technology, chemical science and technology, electronics and electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, manufacturing engineering, and building and fire research)
  • Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (HMEP), with centers set up to help small manufacturers;
  • Advanced Technology Program (ATP), a grant program where the institute and industry partners share the investment in early-stage development of innovative but high-risk technologies.
  • Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program, the nation's highest award for performance and business excellence.

NIST Programs

These programs may be of interest to the information technology community. This is not an all-inclusive list of NIST programs

  • Electronics and electrical engineering
  • Information technology
  • Manufacturing engineering
  • Nanoscale science and technology
  • Neutron research
  • Physics
  • Technology services
  • Nist Technology Innovation Program

Major IT Programs Within NIST

  • NIST Advanced Technology Program / Technology Innovtion Program
  • NIST Baldrige National Quality Program
  • NIST Central IT Support for Science
  • NIST Enterprise Architecture and Planning
  • NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program
  • NIST Laboratories
  • NIST Other Financial Management
  • NIST-wide Grant Management Information System

NIST Products and Services

These products and services may be of interest to the information technology community. This is not an all-inclusive list of NIST resources

  • Computer Security Resource Center
  • Databases
  • Measurement & standards research
  • NIST Information Quality Standards
  • NIST Research Library
  • Performance excellence guidelines
  • R&D funding
  • Software
  • Standard Reference Materials

Also, view the new NIST document: Special Publication 800-39, Managing Risk from Information Systems: An Organizational Perspective. (Link available from our Risk management page.)

Homeland Security Involvement

NIST is helping to develop government-wide government identification card standards for federal employees and contractors.

The National Software Reference Library

NIST maintains a facility known as the National Software Reference Library (NSRL), which is supported by the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice and also by federal, state, and local law enforcement. The library is tasked with promoting efficient and effective use of computer technology in the investigation of crimes involving computers.[1}

The NSRL collects software from multiple commercial and government sources. It then incorporates "file profiles" from the software, developing "Reference Data Sets" (RDS), which can be used to review files on a computer by matching the file profiles in/with the RDS. This helps streamline the effort when law enforcement needs to determine which files are important as evidence on computers or file systems that may have been identified as part of a criminal investigation.

Reference Data Set Version 2.14, released October, 2006, has over 11 million unique values.


Latest News from NIST


Notes

From the The National Software Reference Library's Project overview page.

External Links

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Security-related and FDCC-related NIST links

(see NIST)

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