NIST has several scientifically unique and valuable R&D facilities that may be of assistance to U.S. organizations who may not economically justify developing similar facilities. Thus, NIST has "designated" these facilitates as available for use for proprietary and non-proprietary measurements. Access to these designated facilities is provided on a first come, first served, cost reimbursable basis. The responsible laboratory schedules use of the facilities in accordance with NIST's internal needs and the public interest. Potential users are required to pass a security clearance and maintain safe operations at all times.
When a firm is working cooperatively with NIST on a research project of mutual interest, the organization generally has the same access to NIST R&D facilities accorded to a NIST researcher. In these types of arrangements, the research plan, resource contributions, and facility use details are outlined in the specific collaborative agreement (CRADA).