Industry Impacts

As industry’s national laboratory, NIST is dedicated to supporting U.S. competitiveness in areas of national importance from communications technology and cybersecurity to advanced manufacturing and disaster resilience. Below is a sampling of ways NIST's work in the areas of measurement science, standards and technology is helping to enhance economic security and improve quality of life.

Researchers at the NIST Center Lightweighting Lab

NIST Impacts: Automotive Lightweighting

Automotive companies are increasingly using lightweight materials to improve vehicle fuel economy. However, incorporating those materials into new vehicles is time-consuming and costly. NIST data and models are helping automakers understand and predict how materials behave in the harsh conditions inherent to manufacturing.

NIST Impacts: Biopharmaceuticals

Protein-based biologic drugs, which are increasingly used to treat cancers, autoimmune disorders and infectious diseases, are hard to produce, store and deliver reliably. Better measurement tools developed by NIST drive innovation and lower costs associated with these drugs.

NIST Impacts: Commercial Building Fire Protection

Commercial buildings are over-engineered for fire protection, leading to billions of dollars in waste with little benefit to occupant safety. NIST leads research about how fires burn in buildings and develops tools so architects can confidently identify ways to cut costs without undermining safety.
Computer scientist Murugiah Souppaya investigates security techniques for protecting virtuallized computing environments and cloud computing systems.

NIST Impacts: Cybersecurity

Cyber attacks cost businesses an estimated $400B per year globally from direct damage and post-attack operation disruption. To give companies a way to evaluate and address their cyber risks in this quickly evolving technology age, NIST developed the Cybersecurity Framework.
Photo of NIST scientists with the PSCR Deployable LTE Cell-on-Wheels

NIST Impacts: First Responder Communications

First responders must be able to communicate during an emergency. Too often in critical situations, communications among public safety agencies are hampered by interoperability problems. NIST’s Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program is helping technology vendors determine how they can best meet the unique needs of the public safety community.
NIST Materials Scientist Michael Riley prepares a sample of material for a drop test that will reveal its ability to absorb and dissipate energy.

NIST Impacts: Head Health

Athletes, warfighters and even children riding their bikes all can benefit from better protective gear to prevent head injuries. The Head Health Challenge launched by the NFL, Under Armour, GE and NIST is inspiring new advanced materials that could provide solutions to this problem.
Big Blue Ball

NIST Impacts: Natural Gas Delivery

The accuracy of flow meters measuring natural gas has enormous commercial importance. NIST is developing a new technique to calibrate large flows at high pressures, like natural gas flowing inside interstate pipelines, replacing today’s expensive, time-consuming and labor-intensive approach.
Close up of the NIST chip-scale atomic clock

NIST Impacts: Navigation through Timekeeping

Accurate navigation requires precision timing synchronization to about 1 billionth of a second per day. New applications require timing mechanisms that can operate without satellites and in harsh environments. NIST developed a chip-scale atomic clock (CSAC) that is smaller, energy-efficient and more accurate.
High-speed amplified probe

NIST Impacts: Semiconductors

Semiconductors are the foundation of information technology, making possible the internet, online businesses and social media. Semiconductors are also one of the U.S.’s top exports, with $42B in exports in 2015. NIST is working with the semiconductor industry to overcome quickly approaching physical limitations to chip improvement.