August 2022 NIST Congressional and Legislative Affairs Constituent Newsletter


View As Web Page

NIST Congressional and
Legislative Affairs

Constituent Newsletter  – August 2022


CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 Heads to President Biden’s Desk for Signature

On July 29th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which the Senate had passed earlier in the week. This is a transformative piece of legislation for the nation, the Department of Commerce, and for NIST. The bill provides $50 billion over five years to implement Commerce Department programs including incentives targeting domestic semiconductor manufacturing capacity, research and development, and workforce.

In addition to the funding for semiconductors, the CHIPS and Science Act also includes the NIST for the Future Act, which authorizes $9.68 billion over five years, including $2.23 billion for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership and $829 million for the Manufacturing USA program. The act authorizes and expands NIST’s research in greenhouse gas measurements, AI, cybersecurity and privacy, quantum, advanced communications and more. The act also codifies NIST’s role as a convener and federal coordinator in international standards setting.

Recent News

NIST Develops Genetic Material for Validating Monkeypox Tests

In an effort to help speed the expansion of monkeypox testing in the U.S., NIST has produced a material that can help ensure the accuracy of tests for the disease. NIST is making the material, which contains gene fragments from the virus that causes the disease but is noninfectious and safe to handle, freely available for use by test manufacturers and testing laboratories.

Technical information and instructions for requesting the material are available on the NIST website.

Read More

NRC Issues Confirmatory Order on 2021 Alert at NIST Center for Neutron Research

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a Confirmatory Order that documents the commitments made by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to ensure the safe operation of the research reactor in the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR), which experienced an unplanned shutdown on Feb. 3, 2021. 

Based on the NCNR’s completed and planned actions, as well as its commitments described in the Confirmatory Order, the NRC has not imposed a civil penalty or issued a cited notice of violation and will not pursue any further enforcement action. The NIST research reactor remains shut down while the NRC considers NIST’s separate request to restart. 

The NCNR is a national resource where industry, universities and government agencies conduct world-class, highly cited research in biology, chemical and engineering physics, fundamental neutron physics and more. Additional information on the February 2021 incident including all previous updates from NIST and a Q&A can be found on the NIST website

NIST Awards Nearly $4 Million to Support Metals-Based Additive Manufacturing

On July 26th, NIST awarded $3.7 million in grants to help address current and future barriers to widespread adoption of metals-based additive manufacturing (AM) through measurement science research.

The following organizations will receive NIST Metals-Based Additive Manufacturing Grants Program funding to be spent over two years:

  • The Research Foundation for the State University of New York
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Auburn University
  • General Electric, GE Research

Read More

NIST PSCR Awards more than $298K to Eight Teams in mFIT Prize Challenge

On June 7th, NIST Public Safety Communications Research announced the winners of the Mobile Fingerprinting Innovation and Technology (mFIT) prize challenge at the 2022 Public Safety Broadband Stakeholder Meeting. NIST presented eight teams with ten prizes and $298,500 in cash awards. First place was awarded to two tied teams and third place was awarded to three tied teams. NIST also gave out First Responder Choice Awards and Innovation Awards. The prize competition sought innovative new or improved mobile applications that access a mobile device’s available sensors to capture high-quality digital fingerprint images, thereby improving the performance and efficiency of identification of persons for field-based law enforcement officers. Learn more about the winning teams.


Exploring Cyber Space: Cybersecurity Issues for Civil and Commercial Space Systems

On July 28, 2022, Matt Scholl, Chief, Computer Security Division, Information Technology Laboratory testified before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics.  The hearing was entitled "Exploring Cyber Space: Cybersecurity Issues for Civil and Commercial Space Systems".  The purpose of the hearing was to examine cybersecurity for civil and commercial space systems, including current and potential cybersecurity risks, the status of policies and guidance regarding cybersecurity for space systems, and opportunities for facilitating and strengthening cybersecurity for civil and commercial space systems, among other issues.

Additional witnesses included:

  • Theresa Suloway, Space Cybersecurity Engineer, The MITRE Corporation
  • Brandon Bailey, Senior Project Leader, Cyber Assessments and Research Department, The Aerospace Corporation

You may read a copy of his statement or view the hearing


Funding Opportunities

Privacy-Enhancing Technologies (PET) Prize Challenges

The U.S./U.K. privacy-enhancing technologies prize challenges, first announced at President Biden’s Summit for Democracy, are now open for registration.

Privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) present an opportunity to harness the power of data in a manner that protects privacy and intellectual property, enabling cross-border and cross-sector collaboration to solve shared challenges. Innovators in these challenges will develop state-of-the-art privacy-preserving federated learning solutions that help to tackle the barriers to the wider use of these technologies. Run in parallel with the challenge sponsored by the U.K.’s Center for Data Ethics and Innovation, the U.S. prize challenge is co-sponsored by NIST and the National Science Foundation, in coordination with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

U.S. Participants will be eligible to win prizes from a total prize purse of $800,000. More details on the challenge phases and rules can be found at: Interested participants must register and submit an abstract by September 4, 2022.

Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) Notice of Funding Opportunity

A Notice of Funding Opportunity was posted on July 25, 2022, for the NIST Professional Research Experience Program (PREP).  The NIST PREP is seeking applications from eligible institutions of higher education in the U.S. and its territories that offer two- or four- year degrees in academic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines to establish and manage a program to support collaborative research relationships in the NIST labs. Eligible applicants may apply to establish and manage a program at the relevant NIST campuses in Boulder, Colorado, Gaithersburg, Maryland, and/or Charleston, South Carolina.

PREP is designed to support the agency’s mission in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and provide valuable laboratory experience and financial assistance to undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, masters and bachelor’s degree holders, and faculty.  Full Applications must be received at no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, September 30, 2022.


2022 Disaster Resilience Symposium

The Engineering Laboratory at NIST will be hosting the 5th annual (and third virtual) symposium featuring the 2018 NIST and 2020 NIST/NSF Disaster Resilience Grant Research Program awardees.

The Disaster Resilience Research Grants support advancement in U.S. disaster resilience, including research on Disaster and Failure StudiesNational Earthquake Hazards Reduction ProgramWind Impact Reduction, and Reduced Ignition of Building Components in Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires Project, community recovery, infrastructure resilience, and other related topics.

Registration is now open.  Please join us on September 14-15, 2022 to learn about the recipient’s research and related topics.