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U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day

As prepared.

Good evening — and thank you, Joe, for that kind introduction.

Thanks to the band.  You get us in the mood to celebrate standards tonight. 

I would like to recognize and congratulate Arthur Coté, retired Executive Vice President and Chief Engineer at the National Fire Protection Association as one of our special guests this evening. 

Arthur is the recipient of the Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award for his long-standing leadership and active contributions to the voluntary standards development community throughout his 40-year career. It is a well-deserved honor.  Congratulations to you, Arthur, and thanks for your leadership, at NFPA and in standardization. 

And I'd like to thank ANSI for organizing this event for us tonight and my co-chair this evening, ANSI President, Joe Bhatia.  

ANSI is celebrating its 100th year anniversary tomorrow. 100 years of outstanding work supporting standards, industry, consumers and the U.S. economy! Please join me in congratulating ANSI!

Many of you already know about the work of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in standards, but just in case this is your first World Standards Day, I'd like to take just few minutes to explain our role. 

Standards is literally our middle name! We support standards development across an incredible range of topics, and coordinate across government in working with the private sector.  

More than about 430 NIST staff participate in approximately 1750 standards activities in almost 150 different organizations. Participation in standards development is a central aspect of NIST’s technology transfer efforts

WSD Theme is “Innovation Nation”

The World Standards Day theme this year in the United States is "Innovation Nation." 

NIST advances innovation through standards development and measurement science research and dissemination, and developing technology, supporting advanced manufacturing IN America. 

NIST’s mission is specifically to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness — advancing measurements science, STANDARDS and technology to benefit our economic security and our people. 

Measurements science (metrology) is key to human progress and the advancement of technology.  “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”— to paraphrase Lord Kelvin.

Whether it’s quantum science, advanced communications and 5G, bio-science, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, cybersecurity or data privacy — These rapidly developing areas require measurements science and translation into standards. After all — measurements and standards form the bedrock of global commerce.

Earlier this year, NIST launched a new Return on Investment Initiative (ROI) for U.S. innovation. This reflects a top priority of the President’s Management Agenda announced by the White House in March of 2018.  

Our relentless focus is "Unleashing American Innovation" and moving technologies from Lab to Market effectively. 

Publicly funded research and development investment creates the seed corn of technologies of the future:  for healthcare, communications, computing, new materials — all market sectors.   

The goal of ROI is to streamline and accelerate the transfer of technology from federal laboratories and federally funded R&D at universities and research institutes.

Through a request for information published earlier this year and public forums held around the country, we have assembled inputs and recommendations from industry, academia, government, a wide range of organizations and the American public. 

We have identified important issues —  improving access to federally developed technology, protecting intellectual property, streamlining licensing and partnerships, and other topics. 

Small businesses and our entrepreneurs drive much of U.S. commerce and employment. They take the risks to drive innovation value into the economy.  

And the Small Business Innovation Research program is an important tool to continue to grow economic value.  

A draft green paper summarizing recommendations for public comment will be released a little later this year — and we hope you will review it and provide feedback. 


Nations that incorporate internationally accepted standards into their policies accelerate access to advanced technologies for their citizens and reduce barriers to trade. They help encourage a fair marketplace with a wider selection of high-quality goods, while also protecting health, safety and the environment. 

And that’s also why the efforts of everyone here celebrating with us tonight are so important. Standards work is difficult. It takes technical skill, patience, strong communications, and persuasive negotiations. It takes a commitment to achieving results to meet the needs of many stakeholders. 

Standards ARE essential.  

Standards change the world for the better. Today we celebrate all the people, and all the organizations committed to standardization, this World Standards Day.   

We are striving together to keep America the “innovation nation” leading the world.  

My NIST colleagues and I look forward to continuing to work with you to develop the standards that help foster innovation and shape future economic opportunities for America — here — and around the world. 

Thank you for all that you do!

Created October 19, 2018