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NIST runs a number of laboratories to assist in its mission to promote innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

Communications Technology Laboratory

The Communications Technology Laboratory (CTL) promotes the development and deployment of advanced communications technologies through the conduct of leading-edge R&D on both the metrology and understanding of physical phenomena, materials capabilities, and complex systems relevant to advanced communications. We perform research on high-speed electronics, wireless systems metrology, antennas, network design and optimization, spectrum sharing and public safety communications. 

Engineering Laboratory

The Engineering Laboratory promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness in areas of critical national priority by anticipating and meeting the measurement science and standards needs for technology-intensive manufacturing, construction and cyber-physical systems, including the Smart Grid Program Office, in ways that enhance economic prosperity and improve the quality of life.

Information Technology Laboratory

The Information Technology Laboratory develops and disseminates standards, measurements and testing for interoperability, security, usability and reliability of information systems, including cybersecurity standards and guidelines for federal agencies and U.S. industry, supporting these and measurement science at NIST through fundamental and applied research in computer science, mathematics and statistics.

Material Measurement Laboratory

MML serves as the national reference laboratory for measurements in the chemical, biological and material sciences through activities ranging from fundamental and applied research to the development and dissemination of certified reference materials, critically evaluated data and other programs and tools to assure the quality of measurement results. MML is also responsible for coordinating the NIST-wide Standard Reference Material and Standard Reference Data programs.

Physical Measurement Laboratory

PML is a world leader in the science of measurement. We set the definitive U.S. standards for nearly every kind of measurement employed in commerce and research, provide NIST-traceable calibrations, and disseminate standards and best practices throughout the nation. 

Created July 7, 2015, Updated January 18, 2022