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National Institute of Standards and Technology Environmental Scan 2020



Heather Evans, Kristen K. Greene, William M. Healy, Elizabeth Hoffman, Kate Rimmer, Anna V. Sberegaeva, Neil M. Zimmerman


The 2020 National Institute of Standards and Technology Environmental Scan provides an analysis of key external factors that could impact NIST and the fulfillment of its mission in coming years. The analyses were conducted through four separate lenses: Societal, Investment & Geopolitical, Political & Policy, and Technology & Science. Most of the issues discussed in the initial environmental scan conducted in 2018 are still relevant, but a number of key issues have emerged in society that will impact NIST since the writing of that report, most notably the COVID-19 pandemic and the national discourse around race. Societal, political, financial, and workforce issues will challenge NIST to maintain and advance its leadership in metrology, standards, and technology. However, a broad range of emerging technology issues present opportunities for NIST to have significant impact in advancing the nation's innovation and industrial competitiveness.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 8348
Report Number


Environmental Scan, NIST Policy, Strategic Planning 2020


Evans, H. , Greene, K. , Healy, W. , Hoffman, E. , Rimmer, K. , Sberegaeva, A. and Zimmerman, N. (2021), National Institute of Standards and Technology Environmental Scan 2020, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed May 19, 2024)


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Created February 8, 2021, Updated October 12, 2021