The agency was established by congress to improve measurement infrastructure to compete with economic rivals. NIST provides technology, measurement and standards that are relied upon by technologies like electric power grids, electronic health records, computer chips and nanomaterials. NIST develops and applies technology, measurements and standards for new and improved products, working with the private sector, government agencies and universities.
NIST has its headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD and other facilities in Boulder, CO. NIST facilities include: The Center for Nanoscale and Technology (CNST), Communications Technology Laboratory (CTL), Engineering Laboratory (EL), Information Technology Laboratory (ITL), Material Measurement Laboratory (MML), NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) and Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML). Extramural programs are the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partership (MEP) and NIST Office of Advanced Manufacturing.
The Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization project by NIST is creating a set of standards for protecting electronic information from quantum computers.
- BiotechnologyBiotechnology in a broad sense includes the use of living systems and organisms, as well as their parts for the development or production of products.
- Stem cell technologyTechnology used for isolating, generating, growing and controlling the differentiation of stem cells into specialized cells and the application of stem cell technology for medical and non-medical purposes such as producing meat through cellular agriculture.