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NIST PSCR: Economic Impact Analysis



Lou Nadeau, Ph.D., Melanie Sands, Douglas Lyons, Clara Berger, Sarah Hughes


NIST's Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division is the primary federal laboratory focused on conducting research, development, testing, and evaluation for public safety communications technologies. Their mission is to accelerate communications innovation in support of public safety communities and the citizens they serve. The 2012 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act contained landmark provisions for the development and build out of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) and established The Public Safety Trust Fund (PSTF) to support the design and implementation of the Network. The Act charged the NIST with utilizing up to $300 million of PSTF allocations to establish an R&D program to support the development and deployment of NPSBN from fiscal year 2016 through 2022. In response to the Act's mandate, NIST PSCR developed the Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program to augment internal research by providing funds to support a range of research mechanisms that span from external grants and cooperative research agreements to prize challenge competitions. The aim of these research mechanisms is to accelerate communications innovation in support of public safety communities and the citizens they serve. NIST PSCR contracted Eastern Research Group, Inc. (ERG) of Lexington, MA to conduct an economic impact analysis (EIA) of PSTF investments into NIST PSCR's research mechanisms. ERG conducted an EIA using standard economic input-output multipliers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) to show how NIST PSCR's research investments translate into broader impacts to states, focusing on new jobs, earnings, value added, and total economic output. The results of the EIA (presented in 2020 dollars) show that NIST PSCR's investment of $230 million into the suite of research mechanisms generated 4,280 jobs, $262 million in earnings, $431 million in value added, and $513 million in total economic output.
Grant/Contract Reports (NISTGCR) - NIST GCR 21-031
Report Number
NIST GCR 21-031


Communications, economic impacts, economic impact analysis, first responders, public safety, research and development mechanism


Nadeau, L. , Ph.D., M. , Sands, D. , Lyons, C. and Berger, S. (2021), NIST PSCR: Economic Impact Analysis, Grant/Contract Reports (NISTGCR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed May 29, 2024)


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Created June 4, 2021, Updated November 14, 2023