April 2021 NIST Congressional and Legislative Affairs Constituent Newsletter


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NIST Congressional and
Legislative Affairs

Constituent Newsletter  – April 2021


American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

On March 11, 2021 President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act, (P.L. 117-2).  This $1.9 trillion package is intended to help the United States recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.  The legislation provided $150M to NIST to fund awards for research, development, and testbeds to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. 

Recent News

Manufacturing USA Rapid Response to COVID-19 Report

The NIST Office of Advanced Manufacturing, in partnership with DoD, released a special report highlighting how 9 institutes in the Manufacturing USA network quickly worked with 91+ partners from industry, academia and government across 24 states and Puerto Rico on 36 manufacturing innovation rapid response projects to combat COVID-19. The full report is available here.

NIST Researchers Develop New Tools to Combat Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Drugs

NIST is developing new tools and methods to help public health and law enforcement agencies combat fentanyl and other synthetic drugs. Our efforts, part of NIST’s Forensic Science Research Program, are strategically focused on three areas where new technology can have the greatest impact.

NIST efforts are focused on:

  • Stopping fentanyl before it enters the country
  • Safe handling in the field and the lab
  • Rapid identification of new substances

View a summary of NIST research projects related to fentanyl and other drugs or read the full news story.

Cybersecurity Framework Election Infrastructure Profile: Draft NISTIR 8310 Available for Comment

To help secure our elections, NIST has released Draft NISTIR 8310, Cybersecurity Framework Election Infrastructure Profile. This Profile provides a voluntary, risk-based approach for managing cybersecurity activities and reducing cyber risk to election infrastructure. The Profile is meant to supplement but not replace current cybersecurity standards and industry guidelines available to election officials.

This profile can be used in several ways, including the following: 

  • To highlight and communicate high priority security expectations,
  • To perform a self-assessment comparison of current risk management practices, or
  • As a baseline profile or example profile to reference when developing one’s own.

A public comment period on this draft is open through May 14, 2021.  See the publication details to download a copy of the document and a template for submitting comments.



2021 Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Summit

The Office of Personnel Management and National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education are pleased to announce the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Summit will occur virtually again this year scheduled for April 27th from 1-4 EDT.

This annual event serves as an opportunity for government leaders to provide strategic directions and programmatic updates for stakeholders in the Federal Government who support recruitment, hiring, development, and retention of a workforce necessary to reduce cybersecurity risks in Federal environments. 

Agenda highlights:

  • National Cybersecurity Priorities and Policy Initiatives
  • Strategic Vision for Federal Cybersecurity Workforce
  • Improving Federal Cybersecurity Hiring

To view the agenda, register, or for more details, visit the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Summit webpage.