On Jan. 4, President Obama signed the America COMPETES Act, which supports an array of strategies for maintaining America's leadership in science and technology. Among the Act's important provisions is one encouraging the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to expand upon its work with the private sector to develop new standards for a range of vital industries such as emergency communications and tracking, green manufacturing, high-performance green building construction, and cloud computing.
A blog post by Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer, and Patrick Gallagher, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, discusses the "unique public-private sector cooperation" through which technical standards are set in the United States. Chopra and Gallagher point to a recent call by the National Science and Technology Council's Subcommittee on Standards for public comment on the effectiveness of Federal agencies in the development and implementation of standards. How is the Federal government doing with respect to standards activities? What works well? What can be improved?
The topic will be aired in a public "Roundtable on Federal Government Engagement in Standards," a moderated panel discussion with thought leaders from industry and academia, on Jan. 25, 2011, at the Commerce Department's Herbert C. Hoover Building Auditorium in Washington, D.C. For more information, go to www.nist.gov/el/standards_roundtable.cfm.
Read Chopra and Gallagher's full blog post on the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Web site at www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/01/07/setting-standards-we-want-hear-you.