Latest from Arch Street: the NIST Budget for FY 23

The base budget for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) rose 16% for fiscal year 2023 to $1.24 billion not including earmarked or one-time supplemental spending. NIST has been a priority for the Biden Administration which had proposed a very large increase (38%) aimed at bolstering the American manufacturing sector.

Separately, the agency is also administering billions of dollars the CHIPS and Science Act has provided for semiconductor manufacturing and R&D initiatives.

Tim Clancy of Arch Street breaks down these developments for the American Institute of Physics FYI: FY23 Budget Outcomes: NIST

Commerce Provides Update on National Semiconductor Technology Center – Funded by CHIPS and Science Act

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced new guidance on November 16, 2022 regarding the formation of the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC), authorized under the Chips and Science Act passed in August.

It is expected that guidance on requests for proposals will be issued in the first quarter of 2023 along with a white paper summary of analysis and evaluation of stakeholder recommendations currently underway at DOC.

According to the announcement, Commerce is engaged in four primary tasks:

  1. Evaluating potential gaps in research and engi­neering that could be filled by the NSTC, ensuring that the new Center will complement the many excellent centers already established by industry, academia, allies, and other governmental agencies. The Department will create a preliminary landscape analysis with the benefit of recommendations developed by the CHIPS Industrial Advisory Committee. Ultimately, the NSTC itself will finalize the focus areas, but this early work will inform further decisions.
  2. Evaluating and defining a structure and governance model that fulfills the CHIPS for America goals of promoting U.S. economic and national security and protecting taxpayer investments while ensuring technical excellence and leadership.
  3. Creating a preliminary operating, business, and financial model that will serve as a road map for near-term investment informed by an understanding of what will be required for long-term sustainability.
  4. Identifying a slate of candidates for the NSTC chief executive.

Webinar: How Can the CHIPS and Science Act Deliver on Its Promises?

The CHIPS and Science Act is one of the most significant pieces of science legislation in years. With $180 billion for research and development over the next five years, it aims to bolster the semiconductor industry as well as federal science agencies like the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy. But now comes what many observers view as the hardest part: not only must the money be appropriated, but the act must be implemented in a way that meets its many objectives. In the journal Issues in Science and Technology, several experts explore the ways the CHIPS and Science Act can deliver on its promises to spur innovation, strengthen regional economies and workforce, and promote US competitiveness. In addition, there will be a webinar on November 1st at 3 p.m. where these experts discuss how implementation of this important legislation can best meet—and balance—its many goals.

Workshop: NIST Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Framework

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is developing a framework to better manage risks to individuals, organizations, and society associated with artificial intelligence (AI).

The Framework will be developed through a consensus-driven, open, transparent, and collaborative process that will include workshops and other opportunities to provide input. It is intended to build on, align with, and support AI risk management efforts by others.

NIST’s work on the Framework is consistent with its broader AI efforts, recommendations by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, and the Plan for Federal Engagement in AI Standards and Related Tools. Congress has directed NIST to collaborate with the private and public sectors to develop the AI Framework.

The on-going NIST effort aims to foster the development of innovative approaches to address characteristics of trustworthiness including accuracy, explainability and interpretability, reliability, privacy, robustness, safety, security (resilience), and mitigation of unintended and/or harmful bias, as well as of harmful uses. The Framework should consider and encompass principles such as transparency, fairness, and accountability during design, deployment, use, and evaluation of AI technologies and systems. These characteristics and principles are generally considered as contributing to the trustworthiness of AI technologies and systems, products, and services.

A initial virtual workshop to enable expert participation from industry, academia and government will be held on October 19-21.

NIST Releases Draft Recommendations to Enhance Federal R&D Commercialization 

In June, 2018, Arch Street participated in a stakeholder meeting at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland as part of NIST’s Return on Investment Initiative, an effort led by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to “unleash American innovation” into the U.S. economy with a goal to maximize the transfer of Federal investments in science and technology to:

  • meet current and future economic and national security needs in a rapidly shifting technology marketplace and enhance U.S. competitiveness globally, and
  • attract greater private sector investment to create innovative products, processes, and services, as well as new businesses and industries.”

As part of this effort, NIST has released a draft green paper Return on Investment Initiative for Unleashing American Innovation [PDF] detailing steps to modernize the U.S. system of technology transfer and innovation. The actions outlined in the green paper would help maximize returns on the taxpayer investment in R&D.  The document makes recommendations across five key areas:

1 – Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burdens
2 – Increasing Private Sector Engagement
3 – Promoting Entrepreneurship In Federal R&D
4 – Development of New Tech Transfer Tools
5 – Improved Metrics & Measurement of R&D Outcomes and Impacts

NIST will consider additional public feedback on the green paper by January 9, 2019, via roi@nist.gov. A final version is expected in early 2019.