1.   Assess the technical merit and scientific caliber of NIST’s manufacturing programs relative to comparable programs worldwide. Furthermore, assess NIST’s ability to provide leadership in manufacturing technology areas. How effective are current metrics for measuring value and success in manufacturing programs?
Background: The panel is to assess whether NIST is targeting the appropriate technological maturity level in its research programs. Are the laboratories adequately anticipating technology trends and service delivery methods? Are they effectively measuring their success? Are there different or additional metrics that should be considered?

2.   Assess the efficacy of NIST’s engagement with outside stakeholders to:

•   Guide definition of the laboratory’s priority areas that address key needs within manufacturing

•   Steer development of NIST’s programmatic plans within the priority areas to address the high-priority needs of the manufacturing domain

•   Ensure that NIST’s programs in measurement science, standards, and services have the necessary impact in advancing the Nation’s competitiveness.

3.   Assess coordination and cohesion across NIST of programs in the specific Advanced Manufacturing topics (i.e., nanomanufacturing, smart manufacturing, and next-generation materials measurements, modeling, and simulation).

The context of this technical assessment is the mission of NIST, which is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve the quality of life. The NIST laboratories conduct research to anticipate future metrology and standards needs, to enable new scientific and technological advances, and to improve and refine existing measurement methods and services.

In order to accomplish the assessment, the NRC assembled a panel of 14 volunteers who have strong expertise in the areas of the work performed by the NIST staff in the manufacturing-related programs reviewed. The panel members were also grouped into three review teams. The expertise of the members of the respective review teams especially matched that of the work performed in the areas of Nanomanufacturing, Smart Manufacturing, and Next-Generation Materials Measurements, Modeling, and Simulation. As may be expected, the lines of demarcation for programs of such wide scope are necessarily fuzzy. Consequently, although the review of NIST’s manufacturing-related programs and this report were organized around these areas, the reader will find several instances of overlap and cross-reference. Also, in conducting this assessment, the panel’s view was that the national priorities in manufacturing are synonymous with the priorities of the U.S. manufacturing industry.

The panel members met at the NIST facilities in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on March 26-28, 2012. The agenda for the session with the full panel included the following:

•   Welcoming comments by the Director of NIST;

•   Overview presentations by the Chief Manufacturing Officer, the Director of Innovation and Industry Services, and the Director of the Program Coordination Office;

•   Overview presentations of NIST mission-specific work supporting and advancing manufacturing by the Director of the Physical Measurement Laboratory, the Director

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