United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: May 29, 2023
Findings and purposes
The Congress finds and declares the following:
The future well-being of the United States economy depends on a strong manufacturing base and requires continual improvements in manufacturing technology, quality control, and techniques for ensuring product reliability and cost-effectiveness.
Precise measurements, calibrations, and standards help United States industry and manufacturing concerns compete strongly in world markets.
Improvements in manufacturing and product technology depend on fundamental scientific and engineering research to develop (A) the precise and accurate measurement methods and measurement standards needed to improve quality and reliability, and (B) new technological processes by which such improved methods may be used in practice to improve manufacturing and to assist industry to transfer important laboratory discoveries into commercial products.
Scientific progress, public safety, and product compatibility and standardization also depend on the development of precise measurement methods, standards, and related basic technologies.
The National Bureau of Standards since its establishment has served as the Federal focal point in developing basic measurement standards and related technologies, has taken a lead role in stimulating cooperative work among private industrial organizations in efforts to surmount technological hurdles, and otherwise has been responsible for assisting in the improvement of industrial technology.
The Federal Government should maintain a national science, engineering, and technology laboratory which provides measurement methods, standards, and associated technologies and which aids United States companies in using new technologies to improve products and manufacturing processes.
Such national laboratory also should serve industry, trade associations, State technology programs, labor organizations, professional societies, and educational institutions by disseminating information on new basic technologies including automated manufacturing processes.
It is the purpose of this chapter—
to rename the National Bureau of Standards as the National Institute of Standards and Technology and to modernize and restructure that agency to augment its unique ability to enhance the competitiveness of American industry while maintaining its traditional function as lead national laboratory for providing the measurements, calibrations, and quality assurance techniques which underpin United States commerce, technological progress, improved product reliability and manufacturing processes, and public safety;
to assist private sector initiatives to capitalize on advanced technology;
to advance, through cooperative efforts among industries, universities, and government laboratories, promising research and development projects, which can be optimized by the private sector for commercial and industrial applications; and
to promote shared risks, accelerated development, and pooling of skills which will be necessary to strengthen America’s manufacturing industries.
(Mar. 3, 1901, ch. 872, § 1, 31 Stat. 1449; Pub. L. 100–418, title V, § 5111,
Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1427.)
cite as: 15 USC 271