The Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has sent its 2011 annual report to Congress.
The VCAT is the agency's primary private-sector advisory group. The committee report concludes that NIST is the agency best positioned to support the U.S. advanced manufacturing agenda. The report also highlights NIST's significant progress in major programmatic and operational activities, including standards policy, measurement services, safety, and the NIST reorganization. It endorses NIST's strategic planning process and supports the president's fiscal year 2013 budget increases for NIST, noting that the requested increases to its laboratory programs will increase capabilities at NIST as well as create improved partnership opportunities with industry and academia, enabling NIST to interact more effectively across the innovation ecosystem.
The report also highlights the VCAT's recommendations for features that would be desirable to a national public safety communications network. NIST is engaged in the research supporting public safety communications and operates a test bed at its Boulder, Colo., campus.
The VCAT was established by Congress in 1988 to review and make recommendations on NIST's policies, organization, budget and programs to support the agency in its mission to promote and support U.S. technological innovation and industrial competitiveness. For the full text of the VCAT 2011 annual report, see www.nist.gov/director/vcat/upload/FINAL-2011-VCAT-Report.pdf.
The next NIST VCAT meeting will be held on June 19-20, 2012, in Gaithersburg, Md. VCAT meetings are open to the public. For more information, see www.nist.gov/director/vcat/.