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New Laboratory To Boost Computer, Network Use With Tests For Information Technology

U.S. industries and companies that produce information technology as well as those who count on it for reliable health care, efficiency in small businesses, exchange of digital video and hundreds of other uses are getting a boost in this high-stakes, high-tech world. Arati Prabhakar, director of the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology, today announced the new Information Technology Laboratory, aimed at producing tests that encourage companies to develop quality products and thus expediting technology's entrance into the marketplace.

Today's information revolution is dramatically changing people's lives in many ways. Recognizing this, ITL will serve not only companies that produce desktop computers, servers, software, communications equipment and other information technology systems and services but also the countless industries and individuals who use these ubiquitous systems to work, play and learn," said Prabhakar.

The ITL combines and expands the roles of two previous NIST entities: the Computer Systems Laboratory and the Computing and Applied Mathematics Laboratory. NIST's information technology research will concentrate on developing tests and test methods for information technologies that are still in the early stages of development.

We're responding to industry and user needs for objective, neutral tests for information technology," said ITL Director Shukri Wakid. By sharpening our focus on serving U.S.industry, we're working to provide the enabling tools those companies need to produce the next generation of products and services," he said.

Because measurements create a common language for technology advancement, tests developed by ITL provide impartial ways of measuring information technology products so developers and users can evaluate how products perform and assess their quality based on objective criteria. Tests also supply neutral ways to demonstrate that products satisfy required functions and features, work with other products and conform to a specification or standard.

The ITL works to promote the development and use of information technology systems that are interoperable, easily usable, scalable and secure. In addition to working with partners in U.S. industry, ITL maintains its role in serving other agencies of the federal government, particularly in the area of computer security.

The ITL also will continue to help NIST's own researchers effectively use information technology by providing expert mathematical and statistical support and by operating and modernizing computing and telecommunications facilities at NIST's sites in Gaithersburg, Md., and Boulder, Colo.

As a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, NIST promotes U.S. economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards.

Released December 9, 1996, Updated November 27, 2017