===A gazdasági fejlődés elősegítése===
A technológia újra megmutatta hasznosságát
a nemzet biztonsága terén az [[1990-es évek]]ben, amikor az USA az [[Öbölháború]]ban felhasználta. Ennél is jelentősebb volt a gazdasági növekedésre gyakorolt hatás, amikor például az „internet” és a „grafikus böngésző” megjelentek a köztudatban. A NIST részt vett a számítógépes biztonsági szabványok kidolgozásában.
Development of civilian technology was accelerated in the 1990s through a series of government initiatives. With leading economists asserting that technology accounts for at least half of U.S. economic growth, the federal government took a new approach to funding science and technology. Instead of just basic research and military and space applications, the new outlook also encompassed broadly applicable, "precompetitive" (not quite ready for commercialization) technologies that can be applied by industry to create better products, high-paying jobs, and a clean environment.
In addition to electronics and information systems, a number of other technology areas were identified by the government as critical or strategic to U.S. interests. These included energy and environmental quality, manufacturing, medicine and biotechnology, materials, and transportation. There remains strong interest in helping small businesses compete and in nurturing the interdisciplinary research that increasingly fuels advances in science and technology.
NIST continues to be involved in all these areas. In addition to maintaining strong basic research programs in physics, chemistry, materials, electronics, manufacturing, building technology, and other fields, its Measurement and Standards Laboratories provide measurements, standards, and other support for industries that produce critical technologies. This work helps companies solve problems and commercialize new technologies faster than before, a linchpin of competitiveness in the 1990s and the new millennium.
Meanwhile, the ATP nurtures innovation across a broad range of technology sectors. A study of the first 38 completed ATP projects estimated that the national economic benefits of just several projects will exceed the ATP's entire investment in the more than 450 projects selected at the time of the study. The ATP also has proven to be highly effective in fostering cross-cutting, interdisciplinary collaborations among large and small firms and academic institutions. To assist small businesses, the MEP provides essential support and services, such as help in streamlining manufacturing processes to improve productivity. And a broad consensus has emerged indicating the Baldrige program has greatly improved attention to quality and organizational excellence across the private sector.
Braille reader© Robert Rathe
This Braille reader was created as part of a NIST project to make electronic books more accessible to the blind.
Although the economic threat posed by foreign countries has lessened for now, ensuring the nation's ability to compete in the 21st century remains a challenge. Recent analyses by a variety of organizations indicate that the U.S. lead over Japan is widening in technology areas such as software, sensors, and information management. But Japan is leading in other sectors, such as flat-panel displays, and gaining ground in others. And Japan has been joined by many other emerging economies. Of further concern, U.S. investment in research and development is lower as a percentage of national wealth than it was in the early 1980s, leading some to question America's capacity for future innovation.