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International Collaboration

Measurement is a Global Team Sport

Imagine if every country had its own definition of a gram, or degrees of Celsius meant different things in different countries. It would be hard to buy things, conduct research or do anything across international boundaries. That’s why we have a global metrology system that supports measurement across the world. 

Metrology or measurement science provides the foundation for innovation in every industry and economic sector, from manufacturing to health care to defense. The global metrology community works together to ensure robust and valid measurements are in place to support commerce and innovation. 

NIST is the national metrology institute (NMI) for the U.S. – meaning we’re the “keeper” of the U.S. measurement standards. Other countries have their own NMIs, and together we work on advancing measurement science. There are also six internationally recognized regional metrology organizations that support the global measurement system – so that the definition of the gram is the same wherever you are. 

Because measurement science must be global to support innovation, we need an international approach, and that’s where the  International and Academic Affairs Office (IAAO) comes in.  IAAO helps facilitate global coordination and research on NIST’s behalf. Below are some of the services we offer.

International Visitors to NIST Campuses 

NIST does not routinely provide tours for international visitors; however, if you are attending a technical meeting, we may be able to schedule a campus tour.  At least two weeks’ notice is required. Contact Joy Foster for more information. If you are approved for a visit, learn more about our visitor requirements

International Partnerships with NIST Researchers 

NIST hosts more than 1,000 international guest researchers  each year, both from foreign and U.S. institutes. These researchers’ perspectives and experience are key to the success of our research projects.  If you are an international researcher interested in collaborating with a NIST researcher, please contact the researcher directly. 

Created May 16, 2024