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Licensing NIST Technologies for a Better Tomorrow

Collaboration graphic
Credit: Pixabay

NIST is made up of several major research programs, each of which focuses on specific technical areas, pursuing the latest in research and developing new technologies. Once these technologies are developed, to be of use to society, they then need to be licensed and subsequently commercialized. Transferring technologies discovered through federally funded research is one of the biggest components of the NIST mission to enhance economic security and improve quality of life.

These programs work toward this through their own specific mission, vision, and goals, but the result aligns with the overall NIST mission. They are made up of the Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML), Material Measurement Laboratory (MML), Information Technology Laboratory (ITL), Engineering Laboratory (EL), and the Communications Technology Laboratory (CTL).


PML research focuses on fundamental measurement research and provision of measurement services, standards, and data. PML measures and sets standards for length, mass, acceleration, time and frequency, electricity, temperature, liquid and gas flow, and more. The research at PML helps further many sectors in society to include communication, defense, electronics, energy, environment, and health.


MML serves as the national reference laboratory for measurements in the chemical, biological and material sciences with a focus on fundamental and applied research on industrial, biological and environmental materials and processes. MML furthers the areas of advanced materials, energy, healthcare, infrastructure, and more.


ITL’s research is aimed at information technology measurements, testing and standards with a focus in computer science, mathematics, statistics, and systems engineering. ITL furthers the sectors of cybersecurity, the internet of things, artificial intelligence, reliable computing, and future computing technologies.


EL works to advance measurement science, standards, and technology for engineered systems with a focus in fire prevention and control, natural disaster impact reduction, construction safety, building materials and structures, and more. EL furthers the areas of manufacturing, construction, building and fire safety, and environmental impact of building and manufacturing activities.


CTL furthers research in antennas and wireless propagation, materials science and electronics testing, and communications network protocols and standards with a technical focus on core network technologies, next generation wireless systems, smart infrastructure, manufacturing, and more. CTL helps society through improving how people consume information, transact business, provide and use essential services, and shop.

These research programs at NIST are essential in helping to discover next-generation technologies. Once discovered, the next step is for interested parties to contact and work with the Technology Partnerships Office (TPO) to establish a potential, commercial license for a NIST technology.

For more information, or any inquiries, regarding licensing NIST technologies, click here to email TPO tpo [at] (tpo[at]nist[dot]gov)

Released June 1, 2022