July 2021 NIST Congressional and Legislative Affairs Constituent Newsletter


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NIST Congressional and
Legislative Affairs

Constituent Newsletter  – July 2021

Recent News

NIST Conducting Technical Investigation into the Collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condominium

NIST announced it would launch a full technical investigation into what caused the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condominium in Surfside, Florida, on June 24, 2021.

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President's FY22 Budget Request

On May 28th, President Biden released his budget request for FY22.  The NIST FY22 budget request is an increase of $462.7 M, or 44.7%, over FY21 enacted levels to fully fund inflationary adjustments to current programs, grow funding for nationally critical mission areas, and expand NIST’s manufacturing programs.

Budget Summary:


FY20 Enacted

FY21 Enacted

FY22 Request













Total, NIST Discretionary





NIST Issues Definition of Critical Software Called for by Cybersecurity Executive Order

Fulfilling one of its assignments to enhance the security of the software supply chain called for by a May 12, 2021, Presidential Executive Order onImproving the Cybersecurity of the Federal Government (14028), NIST published a definition of “critical software.” 

The specific definition of critical software is included in a NIST white paper and on NIST’s website.  The paper and website include frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the definition which provide additional context. 


The NCCoE Releases Preliminary Draft Report on Ransomware Risk Management

The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) has released a new preliminary draft report, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Interagency or Internal Report (NISTIR) 8374, Cybersecurity Framework Profile for Ransomware Risk Management.

Review the preliminary draft report and submit comments to ransomware@nist.gov  on or before July 9, 2021.

NIST Publishes Review of DNA Mixture Interpretation Methods

NIST has published DNA Mixture Interpretation: A Scientific Foundation Review. This draft report, which will be open for public comment for 60 days before being published in final form, reviews the methods that forensic laboratories use to interpret evidence containing a mixture of DNA from two or more people.  NIST scientific foundation reviews document and evaluate the scientific basis for forensic methods. These reviews fill a need identified in a landmark 2009 study by the National Academy of Sciences, which found that many forensic disciplines lack a solid foundation in scientific research.

Readers can submit comments on the draft report through Aug. 9, 2021. NIST will host a webinar about the draft report on July 21, 2021. Instructions for submitting comments and registration information for the webinar are available on the NIST website.

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NIST Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT) 2020 Annual Report Now Available

The 2020 VCAT Annual Report highlights the Committee’s observations, findings and recommendations from the last year.  The Committee has been active in assessing NIST’s contributions to and progress in the following areas: NIST role in the innovation ecosystem, NIST efforts to respond to COVID-19, NIST strategic planning, and NIST facilities and infrastructure.

2020 MEP Advisory Board Annual Report Now Available

The 2020 MEP Advisory Board Annual Report presents an overview of the national Board’s activities and focuses for the year. In addition to Board member bios, meetings and working group updates, the 2020 report focuses on MEP National Network™ efforts to meet the year’s many challenges.

NIST Awards $8M for First Responder 3D Indoor Tracking Prize

In April, NIST announced the $8M award to Indiana University for the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program - First Responder 3D Indoor Tracking (PSIAP-FR3D) Prize. Every year, firefighters die, are seriously injured, or become lost, separated, or difficult to locate inside buildings because of inaccurate indoor tracking. To address this challenge, Indiana University will implement a prize competition aimed at developing indoor localization technologies that support first responders. Read more about Indiana University.

$9.7M Awarded to Eight Winners for Augmented Reality Research

NIST awarded more than $9.7M to eight different organizations for the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program - Augmented Reality (PSIAP-AR) funding opportunity. This augmented reality research aims to develop technology that will enable award recipients to test user interfaces for enhancing public safety and accelerate the adoption of AR systems for first responder operations. Award recipients include BadVR, Carnegie Mellon University, Cyber Bytes Foundation, Pison Technology Inc., RTI international, University of Florida, University of Virginia, and University of Wisconsin. For more information about the funding opportunity, please visit the PSIAP-AR award announcement page.

Funding Opportunties

Artificial Intelligence for IoT Information Prize Competition

NIST announced a new funding opportunity, the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program - Artificial Intelligence for IoT Information Prize Competition (PSIAP-AI3). NIST is seeking a prize administrator to collaborate with experts to implement the AI3 prize competition and obtain innovative solutions to classifying situational awareness sensor data to be used by public safety in real time. NIST anticipates funding one award for up to $1.2M.  Application deadline is Monday, July 26, 2021.


NIST Launches New Manufacturing USA Technology Roadmap Grant Competition

On June 17th, NIST announced a new competition for awards to support industry-driven consortia in developing technology roadmaps that will address high-priority research challenges to grow the advanced manufacturing sector in the U.S.

NIST’s Manufacturing USA Technology Roadmaps (MfgTech) program anticipates awarding up to eight awards with a period of performance of up to 18 months each, with individual awards of up to $300,000 and no cost-share requirement.

Proposals are due by Aug. 16, 2021. Details about the competition, including eligibility, selection criteria, legal requirements and the mechanism for submitting proposals are found in the Notice of Federal Funding Opportunity posted at Grants.gov under funding opportunity number 2021-NIST-MfgTech-01.

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