National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at Forefront of Emerging Technologies

The U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee has unanimously approved the National Institute of Standards and Technology Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 6229), introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Research and Technology. The U.S. House was scheduled to adopt H.R. 6229 by unanimous consent this week. However it no longer appears on the House calendar and will not likely be adopted until the House reconvenes after the August district work period.
H.R. 6229 would authorize increased investments in four emerging technologies:
  1. quantum science,
  2. artificial intelligence and data science,
  3. advanced communications and the internet of things, and
  4. composites research and standards development.
These technological areas will help NIST accelerate the implementation of Artificial Intelligence systems and give U.S. industries a competitive edge. In addition the legislation would:
  • Increase the core NIST scientific and technical research and services lab account by $130 million to transform basic research into innovations and new technologies,
  • Accelerate basic quantum information science research and standards development and provide funds to address fundamental research gaps, create a stronger workforce pipeline, and allow the U.S. to take the lead in developing global quantum standards and measurements,
  • Require NIST to enhance and expand its guidance and assistance to Federal Agencies to help them effectively use the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity,
  • Provide for the Institute to expand its fundamental and applied cybersecurity research to address key questions relating to measurement of privacy, security, and vulnerability of software tools and communication networks,
  • Direct NIST to expand its composites research and standards development to facilitate the adoption of composite technology in American infrastructure,
  • Support Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data science research and development,
  • Encourage NIST to continue to examine the Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities and the growing measurement and security challenges created by the convergence of digital technologies with the physical world.

Different Approach in the U.S. Senate

In the U.S. Senate a different approach is being taken. Senators are focusing more on accelerating quantum research and development for economic and national security concerns. Bipartisan legislation S. 3143, the National Quantum Initiative Act, has been introduced by Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
S. 3143 would ensure the continued leadership of the U.S  in quantum information science and its technology applications by—
  • supporting research, development, demonstration, and application of quantum information science and technology in order to:
    • expand the number of researchers, educators, and students with training in quantum information science and technology to develop a workforce pipeline;
    • promote the development and inclusion of multidisciplinary curriculum and research opportunities for quantum information science at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral level;
    • address basic research knowledge gaps;
    • promote the further development of facilities and centers available for quantum information science and technology research, testing and education; and
    • stimulate research on and promote more rapid development of quantum-based technologies;
  • improving the interagency planning and coordination of Federal research and development of quantum information science and technology and maximizing the effectiveness of the Federal Government’s quantum information science and technology research and development programs;
  • promoting collaboration among government, Federal laboratories, industry, and universities; and
  • promoting the development of standards for quantum information science and technology security.

Everyone Benefits

Advancements in these emerging technologies helps everyone. Economically, by keeping the U.S. at the forefront of technological innovation and enhancing the competitiveness of multiple industries in an increasingly global marketplace.  For our security, E commerce currently makes up about 12% of the total retail marketplace. As more and more people continue to adapt to E commerce these technologies will help in reducing cybersecurity risks.

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