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NIST announces intent to open competition for Manufacturing USA Institute focused on AI

The Office of Advanced Manufacturing at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, intends to announce an open competition for a new Manufacturing USA institute. The expected competition, according to the notice of intent (NOI), will seek to establish a Manufacturing USA institute “focused on the use of artificial intelligence to improve resilience of U.S. manufacturing.”

NIST reveals plan for boosting U.S. advanced packaging capabilities for semiconductors

Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Director Laurie E. Locascio recently revealed in public comments that approximately $3 billion in funding for the National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program will be used to drive U.S. leadership in advanced packaging. Advanced packaging is a cutting-edge design and manufacturing method that places multiple chips with a variety of functions in a densely interconnected two- or three-dimensional “package.” This design paradigm, according to a press release from NIST,  “can help the sector achieve the ever denser, smaller dimensions that the most advanced semiconductors require.” But NIST also notes that “currently, the United States is limited in both conventional and advanced packaging capacity.” 

3D printing could catapult US manufacturing

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, has so far been used for simple construction. In this process, a computer creates three-dimensional objects by depositing materials, usually in layers. But now, the National Institute for Standards in Technology (NIST) is working to unlock additive manufacturing’s potential. For example, earlier this year, NIST researchers worked with polyelectrolyte complexes (PECs), resins with properties useful in fire protection, food packaging, drug delivery, insulation, and more. The scientists incorporated a technique that uses light to solidify a liquid resin, layer by layer, into a three-dimensional design.

Public will have quicker and easier access to federally funded research results

Over the last month, the Department of Energy (DOE), National Science Foundation (NSF), and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have released plans for complying with a 2022 White House policy that requires scientific papers resulting from federally funded research to be freely available upon publication, sunsetting the current one-year embargo period by 2025.

NIST plans to increase public access to federally funded research results

NIST has released a plan to make its scientific data and publications more readily available and accessible, following a memo from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) instructing all government agencies to do so. NIST has presented its plan in its June 30 Draft for Public Comment, now open for comment. Comments may be submitted until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 14 here.

NIST Announces staff for CHIPS R&D Office, potentially three future institutes

Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Director Laurie E. Locascio announced five leaders joining the CHIPS Research and Development Office within CHIPS for America.

Commerce talks timeline for semiconductor, CHIPS funding

This week, the U.S. Department of Commerce updated its timeline for funding opportunities that support semiconductor and related manufacturing, as well as relevant R&D facilities. The department still intends, as first stated in its strategic plan last fall, to make funding for chip fabrication facilities available later this month. The funding opportunity for related manufacturing will be made available in “late spring.” The announcement, which was made over email, states that funding to support the construction of semiconductor R&D facilities is planned for “early fall” but does not specify if that opportunity would encompass all or just some of the research centers and networks funded in the CHIPS and Science Act

NIST solicits information to improve CHIPS and semiconductor industry

The National Institute of Standards of Technology (NIST) is seeking public input through Requests for Information (RFIs) for two programs under the CHIPS Act. Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Laurie E. Locascio refers to the U.S.’s leadership role in semiconductor manufacturing as “critically important to our prosperity and national security” as they are key components in artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Locasio notes that in order to achieve this, America needs a “whole-of-nation” approach, justifying the two RFIs under different CHIPS programs.

Job Quality Toolkit aims to move dialogue on quality jobs and retaining workers

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program at NIST recently released the Job Quality Toolkit which outlines eight “drivers of job quality.” The toolkit aims to enhance the discussion around job quality, becoming an “actionable tool… to improve the quality of every job,” which will improve employee recruitment and retention.

NIST awards $1.2 million to develop technology roadmaps

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently awarded nearly $1.2 million to four institutions through its Advanced Manufacturing Technology Roadmap Program (MfgTech). Awards through this program will fund projects in industries and technologies such as microelectronics and biotechnology for up to 18 months to address national priorities for improving competitiveness and vaccine manufacturing capabilities. 

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