Through its major programs, NIST works with U.S. companies, universities, and other organizations to build the infrastructure—the technical support system—vital to the nation's technological capabilities and its long-term economic competitiveness. Here's a sampling of what customers and commentators have said about the agency's research, services, outreach activities, and partnerships.
Provide technical leadership for vital components of the nation's technology infrastructure by developing high-accuracy measurements and other broadly useful tools that grow in value as they are diffused as standards across companies, industries, and nations.
" [T]he National Institute of Standards and Technology remains the steward of the United States measurement system and is known for its achievements in physical measurements, standards developments, test methods, and basic scientific and technical research. The work of this small agency is remarkably broad and has touched the lives of countless Americans, including business officials, homeowners, firefighters, medical and health-care workers, scientists, engineers, and the military."
— President George W. Bush
"NIST's work underpins most of today's top science and technology challenges, such as cyber-security, biometrics, voting equipment standards, and nanotechnology, just to name an important few."
— New York Congressman Sherwood Boehlert, Chairman of the House Science Committee
"One of the biggest barriers to continued miniaturization of semiconductor circuits is the inability to measure many of the critical dimensions at the desired feature size. Consequently, additional research in metrology at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is critical to future chip development."
— Semiconductor Industry Association
"The result of almost every laboratory or field experiment rests on the quality of a measurement. Excellence in measurement science, driven by NIST, positions U.S. industry and universities to more quickly solve problems. Just as important, increased precision and sensitivity enable significant observations of previously unseen phenomena, often initiating basic studies leading to practical applications of high value for the citizens of the U.S."
— F.M. Ross Armbrecht, Jr., President, Industrial Research Institute
"NIST has played and continues to play a somewhat unglamorous role that is crucial to advancing the nation's technology and manufacturing infrastructure. We know that scientific and engineering advances are much less likely to translate to economic advantage without the careful work required in establishing standards and measurement techniques. NIST has also played a vital role in making scientific and engineering advances available to the nation's manufacturing community."
— James Harrington, Engineering, Science, and Technology Policy Chair, and Eugene Arthurs, Executive Director, SPIE-The International Society for Optical Engineering
" At the dawn of the 20th century there were still a few respected scientists who doubted that atoms existed. One hundred years later we are rapidly expanding our knowledge of subatomic particles and probing the complex mysteries of matter itself. An impressive part of that effort has occurred at the NIST Center for Neutron Research."
— Rita Colwell, Director, National Science Foundation
"A vital component of the nation's research infrastructure, NIST's core laboratory programs have assisted industry and researchers for more than 100 years in developing the technology needed to improve product quality, modernize manufacturing processes, ensure product reliability, and facilitate product commercialization."
— American Chemical Society
"These are exciting times for biotechnologies and the Association is very fortunate to have NIST as a partner as it continues to bring new technologies to practice."
— James B. Bramson, Executive Director, American Dental Association
"I consider your [NIST Metallurgy Division] group a key asset to industry in making these decisions [on new electrodeposition processes] on the soundest possible scientific basis. There is no comparable body of expertise anywhere in the world that matches that found in your group."
— George T. Galyon, Chairman, Tin Whisker Modeling Committee, National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative
"As a small business, having the resources to compete globally is often quite a challenge. I would not hesitate to say that without the assistance of the people at NIST, it would not have been feasible for me to develop the processes and equipment designs and I would not now be producing either the mercury or argon triple point cells, leaving only foreign suppliers. ..."
— Stanley Pond, President, Pond Engineering Laboratories
" The value of the assistance provided to industry by the "Wizards" at NIST can't be overstated. I cannot think of a better use of government-funded research than to funnel this knowledge back in to U.S. industry to improve our competitive position in a world economy."
— Michael Taylor, Principal EMC Compliance Engineer, Hach Company
"I have interacted with many scientists in my career, but this kind of treatment is extraordinary and I felt impressed to bring this to someone's attention at NIST. Please accept my thanks for providing a small company with excellent help in a very timely fashion."
— Raymond A. Cutler, Senior Research Scientist, Ceramatec, Inc.
"As a small company we could not have afforded the skills or the equipment to do such work, so being able to obtain the data through NIST was a big help."
— Janet Rice, Manager, Packaging, Teravicta Technologies
"The technical challenges facing the data storage industry in the next 10 years are so broad and so deep that the industry cannot do it alone. We need researchers like you at NIST to help us."
— Sining Mao, Senior Manager, Recording Heads Division, Seagate Technology
"We all have benefited significantly from the strong collaborative relationship with NIST, and are most appreciative of the contributions that several NIST scientists have made toward achieving basic understanding of technical challenges... NIST's support has been invaluable to our project team...."
— Chung-Yeh Sa, U.S. Council for Automotive Research (USCAR) and General Motors Technical Center, and Edmund W. Chu, USCAR and Alcoa Inc.
"I very much appreciate the work done by the [NIST] Advanced Optics Metrology group. In this instance, they have critically helped expand industry's capabilities at the boundaries of current measurement technology—a basic goal of a national standards institute."
— Sam Richman, Metrology Laboratory Manager, Research Electro-Optics, Inc.
"Thanks to the [NIST-developed] Expect tool, WorldCom [now, MCI] managed to save approximately 47 minutes of manual work per customer location on this project. Multiplying that savings by the [customer's] 1,850 sites meant 1,449 saved hours of work, or about 8.6 engineering months. In addition to these gained efficiencies, we also managed to increase the requested number of site turn-ups on a number of occasions by a factor of two [to more than 50 sites per day].... Thanks again to ... the National Institute of Standards and Technology for creating such a high-quality tool and placing it in the public domain."
— Heiko Rath, Engineering Manager, Customer Network Engineering, MCI
"We want to thank DOC [Department of Commerce] and NIST for their tremendous efforts in the July 2003 Standards in Trade Workshop for the Persian Gulf countries on electrical safety standards. These education programs are important to highlight the movement toward harmonization and the worth of U.S. standards to the world community. These types of collaborative efforts between industry and government are much needed and appreciated."
— Larry Wethje, Vice President, Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers
"NIST is the ultimate organization for quality in measurement, standards, and technology around the world. Combining NIST's reputation with their very successful chemistry Web book made Dow's decision on a partner an easy one."
— Richard M. Gross, Vice President, Research and Development and New Business Growth, Dow Chemical Company
" The superb scientists in your organization continue to push the state of the art in measurement science, helping develop the advanced technologies needed to operate the United States Atomic Energy Detection System.... You and your staff should take great pride in your irreplaceable contributions to AFTAC [Air Force Technical Applications Center] and our Nation's security."
— Charles F. McBrearty, Jr., Director, Materials Technology, Department of the Air Force
"For more than 30 years, OLES [the NIST Office of Law Enforcement Standards] has acted as NIJ's [National Institute of Justice] technical agent by conducting research into new and emerging technologies, developing minimum performance standards for commercially available equipment, producing guides on the identification, implementation and evaluation of public safety products, and creating standard reference materials for the forensic community. The relationship between NIJ and NIST has increased NIJ's visibility and stature as a prominent science research agency for the public safety community."
— David G. Boyd, Director, Office of Science and Technology, U.S. Department of Justice
"[M]y compliments on the efforts of the Computer Security Resource Clearinghouse and other NIST information security efforts. I've been in this field many years and have long admired the work done and products issued by NIST. Way back in the 'dark ages,' I always valued NIST guidance, with its practicality and real-world focus.... Of late, however, you guys are surpassing yourselves. The number of products issued is simply mind-
— Harlan Course, Information Security Specialist, National Information Technology Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture
A nationwide network of technical and business assistance centers that helps smaller manufacturers to identify and implement modern production techniques, innovative workforce practices, and other technologies crucial to their competitiveness.
"As our economy struggles to recover, MEP is needed more than ever. It plays an important role in our state and national economies that no other entity is likely to fulfill."
— National Governors Association
"The MEP is the only federally funded program that provides direct assistance to America's small- and medium-sized manufacturers, demonstrably boosting productivity, sales, investment, employment, and overall competitiveness."
— Rusty Patterson, Chairman, and Leo Reddy, CEO, National Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing
"MEP is a cost-effective, public-private partnership, with MEP clients experiencing productivity increases four times greater than comparable non-MEP clients."
— Jerry Jasinowski, President, National Association of Manufacturers
"MEP is a potential gold mine for small manufacturers. The sole purpose of this national network of 400 not-for profit centers is to help small manufacturing firms become more productive, tech-savvy, and competitive. BizBest has tracked this program for nearly 10 years and has found it to be well-run and highly beneficial for biz owners who have used it. You can tap MEP's army of experts for help in many areas, from improving plant layout to getting your shop floor in shape to restructuring your finances, designing a web site or entering e-commerce."
— The 100 Best Resources for Small Businesses, 2004 BizBest Special Report
" MEP and SCMEP (South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership), in particular, are the best things going for small to mid-sized manufacturers. My experiences with SCMEP have been most satisfying. The organization has consistently brought talented people to my company, and the results have been outstanding. I could not have made the level of improvements my business has achieved in the past 10 years without its help."
— Robert Hurst, President, Phoenix Specialty Manufacturing
"The Manufacturers Resource Center (an MEP affiliate) is trying to help manufacturers in the industry save jobs and keep industry and jobs in the area. Technologically, they give companies the assets they need to stay in business and pursue other avenues."
— Ray Harries, President, Bally Ribbon Mills Inc.
"The Mohawk Valley Applied Technology Corporation (an MEP affiliate) has become our partner in success. As a result of its work, we are now prepared to double our business in the next three years and expand into new markets."
— Michael J. Fitzgerald, President, Oriskany Manufacturing Tech
"I would recommend the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center's (TMAC—an MEP affiliate) services to any business that wants to up the bottom line, which is why we are all in business. TMAC showed us how to be much more cost effective and guided us so we could be more competitive in today's market."
— Diana Hartmann, CEO, TORCO
"This project was a model of lean in action. Because of the (MEP affiliate) Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center's assistance, our operators are now routinely looking for opportunities to streamline a process and reduce waste."
— Sam Lewis, General Manager, Homeshield Fabricated Products
" When we start looking for help in a new area, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (an MEP affiliate) is one of the first resources we contact. If their staff can't help us, they'll know who can."
— Don Crowther, General Manager, Aztec Manufacturing Corp.
"What was accomplished here in one week with support from (MEP affiliate) Manex is extremely valuable and worthwhile. In all my years of manufacturing, I do not recall output as tangible as what we just experienced. We are seeing visible, very positive changes in our staff and in the quality of our products."
— Rick Brown, Vice President of Operations, Westcor
"The MEP Program ... is the only federal program designed specifically to help small manufacturers, and positioned to help create an infrastructure for providing support to these firms as the U.S. economy moves through enormous economic transition."
— National Academy of Public Administration
"MEP is a popular program because it is a valuable program. It delivers results for America and its small manufacturers in 50 states and Puerto Rico. MEP increases employment and tax revenue, creates greater productivity and profits, fosters a more secure supply chain for national defense, and bolsters our manufacturing trade balance."
— Michael J. Wojcicki, President, Modernization Forum
Encourages and assists U.S. organizations in their performance and quality improvement efforts through its management, with the private sector, of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and through its active dissemination of the award program's framework, core values, criteria, and assessment methods.
"The Baldrige Award Criteria project an exacting standard and encourage companies to strive for excellence by seeing themselves through the eyes of the customers and the marketplace. This Award is becoming a global standard, and one measure of its importance is the growing number of similar programs throughout the world."
— President George W. Bush
"To win a Baldrige Award, just being 'good' isn't good enough. You must be great. You must demonstrate a world-class commitment to excellence. Your organization must show continuous quality and performance improvement. And your managers and officers must maintain the highest ethical standards of corporate governance."
— Vice President Dick Cheney
"For us, Baldrige has provided the best consulting services we've ever received and the least expensive. Over the four years that we applied, we received more than 200 pages of feedback from highly trained, experienced, and professional examiners, who spent literally hundreds of hours with our application and on site visits. To sum up, Baldrige is the best way to get better faster."
— Sr. Mary Jean Ryan, FSM, President/Chief Executive Officer, SSM Health Care
"We applied for the Award, not with the idea of winning, but with the goal of receiving the evaluation of the Baldrige examiners. That evaluation was comprehensive, professional, and insightful. It reinforced where we were strong, and provided valuable information on areas where we could improve—making it perhaps the most cost-effective, value-added business consultation available anywhere in the world today."
— Bob Barnett, Executive Vice President, Motorola, Inc.
"While we had a successful business, it was not until we set our sights on the Baldrige Award that we really began to understand the magnitude of change necessary to achieve world-class performance."
— Charles L. Korbell, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, Clarke American Checks, Inc.
"Branch-Smith Printing has nearly 10 years of experience using the Baldrige Criteria and benefiting from both the Criteria and the Award process.... Over the years, we have found one of the greatest benefits of applying is maintaining a performance improvement discipline based on a system that is both highly regarded and works."
— David C. Branch, President, Branch-Smith Printing Division
"We realized better results almost from day one of our entry into the Baldrige program. While we were sometimes skeptical of the opportunities for improvement, when we did respond, we again realized higher performance results."
— Frank Auriemma, Superintendent, Pearl River School District
"When we officially adopted the Baldrige criteria in 1999, we did so because they offered the opportunity to demonstrate that we practiced performance excellence, and to demonstrate that public higher education could and must be accountable."
— Charles W. Sorensen, Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Stout
" [I]t is the lessons learned during the Baldrige process that are the real return on investment. Even for those who do not win the award, going through the application process and working with the examiners during their site visits teaches a company more than any MBA course could ever accomplish."
— Horst H. Shulze, President and Chief Operating Officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.
"The Baldrige Quality Award program is a vital national asset, setting the highest standards for excellence making American businesses and organizations more robust and competitive."
— Thom Crosby, President and CEO, Pal's Sudden Service
"Sunny Fresh continues to use Baldrige-based criteria because they address all aspects of our business. They continue to have a far-reaching impact on our 'customer-solutions' focus—to delight and bring value to the customers we serve."
— Mike Luker, President, Sunny Fresh Foods
"The best way to organize that growth was to build around quality and service to our customers and our associates. The Baldrige criteria set out a way to do that, and our associates benefited because they could understand their jobs, their purpose, and the direction of the company."
— Don Evans, President and CEO, Operations Management International, Inc.
"To better achieve the level of quality demanded by the company and its customers, Solectron has combined the focus of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria on customer-driven results with the procedural discipline of the International Standards Organization (ISO) 9000 standards. With this combination, the company has put in place a quality system that is woven throughout the entire organization, from the associates on the assembly line to executive management."
— Solectron Quality Commitment
"What is needed is ONE business improvement model that helps improve performance in EVERY aspect of the organization—unifying strategy from top to bottom.
The good news is there is an excellent process available and even better—it is free of charge. The name of the process is the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award."
— Gregory P. Smith, author of Here Today Here Tomorrow: Transforming Your Workforce from High-Turnover to High-Retention