NIST Delivers Report on American Competitiveness in Critical High-Tech Industries

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has delivered to the U.S. Congress a report on several technologies that are critical to the global competitiveness, economic growth and national security of the United States. The American COMPETE Act report analyzes economic impact, supply chain vulnerabilities, and policy recommendations for each of the following technologies:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Internet of Things and Internet of Things in manufacturing
  • Quantum computing
  • Blockchain technology
  • New and advanced materials
  • Unmanned delivery services
  • Additive manufacturing

In delivering this report, NIST has fulfilled a requirement of the American COMPETE Act of 2021, which directed the secretary of commerce, in coordination with the Federal Trade Commission and other agencies, to report on these technologies. The secretary of commerce assigned the task to NIST, which has existing research programs and deep expertise in these areas.

“This report provides a critical analysis of where we are and where we need to go with these technologies that are crucial to the future of our nation,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Laurie E. Locascio. “The strategies identified in this report will help us grow our economy, strengthen our competitiveness and build the skilled workforce we need to maintain our position of global technological leadership.”

For each technology, the report includes a snapshot of current research activities, public-private partnerships and standards development activities, as well as a review of economic impacts, supply chain risks and workforce needs. The report is based on publicly available literature, input from relevant federal agencies, and interviews with experts in the public and private sectors. It also includes material submitted in response to a request for information that NIST published in the Federal Register in November 2022, titled “Study to Advance a More Productive Tech Economy.”

Some of the technology areas covered in this report, such as quantum computing, are still in the research phase. Others, such as additive manufacturing, are already integrated into many areas of the economy. However, several common themes emerged, including the importance of:

  • Continued federal support for facilities with cutting-edge research infrastructure and instrumentation;
  • Public-private partnerships that accelerate the transition of technologies from lab to market;
  • Standards developed through collaboration of government, industry and consumer and civil society organizations; and
  • A ready and capable workforce.

NIST produced this report with contracted support from the Institute for Defense Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute. The Quantum Economic Development Consortium contributed to the report, and the FTC reviewed sections dealing with consumer protection and competition. More information about the report is available on the NIST website.

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