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U.s. Revamps Science, Technology Standard-Setting Efforts

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As part of the America Competes Reauthorization Act of 2010, the U.S. National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been instructed to expand cooperation with the private sector to develop standards for key technologies, including cloud computing, emergency communications, green manufacturing, and high-performance green building construction. As a result of the legislation, NIST also has eliminated four of its labs, leaving engineering, physical measurement, information technology, material measurement, the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, and the NIST Center for Neutron Research.

Meanwhile, the White House's National Science and Technology Council recently issued a call for public input on the development and implementation of future standards. "The challenges of the 21st century, including the need to build a clean energy economy, reduce the high cost of health care, and secure our information technology systems, require that we actively consider ways to enhance the efficiency and responsiveness of the standards development process," says the Office of Science and Technology Policy blog. "Technical standards are not the stuff of everyday conversation, but they are crucial to smart development and economic growth."

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