Today, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Research & Technology held a hearing to examine the FY 2017 budget request for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Testifying before the Subcommittee was Dr. Willie E. May, the Director of NIST and Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology.

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) said in her opening statement, “For more than 100 years, NIST has supported the competitiveness of American companies. NIST’s broad and deep technical expertise has advanced measurement science, standards, and technological innovation— creating a strong U.S. economy and improving our quality of life. I am pleased that the President’s budget for NIST recognizes its importance and gives the agency a prominent role in critical efforts, including revitalizing American manufacturing and expanding technology transfer activities.”

Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) discussed some of NIST’s important work in her opening statement. She said, “Every industry and nearly every technology relies on the measurement and standards work at NIST—from the smart electric power grid to computer chips to building safety. NIST supplies industry, academia, government, and other users with thousands of Standard Reference Materials, in addition to doing much of the testing and validation work in their own laboratories. Along with working with industry, academia, state and local governments, and consumer groups to develop U.S. standards, NIST accomplishes it mission of promoting U.S. innovation and competitiveness through their research laboratories, Centers of Excellence, and manufacturing programs.”

Democratic Members discussed NIST’s role in advanced manufacturing. The Administration’s budget proposes increases for two important manufacturing programs—the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program and the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).

The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) is an interagency collaboration led by NIST to establish a network of institutes, each focused on a unique technology that will address industrially-relevant manufacturing challenges with broad applications. The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program was established in 1998 with a mission to support, strengthen, and grow U.S. manufacturing. It focuses on helping manufacturers increase their profitability and streamline their processes through the implementation of lean manufacturing techniques and the adoption of new, cutting-edge manufacturing technologies.

Members also discussed NIST’s role in cybersecurity, advanced communications, federal natural hazards programs, and technology transfer activities.
Congresswoman Esty said, “NIST is a small federal agency with the grand purpose of promoting U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness. At a time in which our leadership in those areas is being challenged, NIST’s role is more important than ever. We must ensure that NIST is properly equipped to effectively accomplish their mission. Ms. Chairwoman, thank you again for holding this hearing and I look forward to working with you and our colleagues to ensure that NIST has the resources it needs to fulfill its role in promoting innovation, increasing our competitiveness, and enhancing our security.”

Please visit our website: