The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is the federal technology agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. The NIST works with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements, and standards.
The NIST is the first federal physical science research laboratory in the U.S. It was founded in 1901. And, between 1901 and 1988, the NIST was known as the National Bureau of Standards (NBS). The NIST aims to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve quality of life.
The scientists and technical staff at NIST have made many valuable contributions in areas such as: image processing; DNA diagnostic "chips"; smoke detectors; and automated error-correcting software for machine tools. It has also worked and created an impact in areas that include: atomic clocks, X-ray standards for mammography, scanning tunneling microscopy, pollution-control technology, and high-speed dental drills.