The Information Technology Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards and Technology is a well-managed science and engineering facility contributing in important ways to the nation’s scientific and technical research and development needs. The ITL supports the NIST mission through its own mission “to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology through research and development in information technology, mathematics, and statistics”33
To support its mission, the ITL has focused its R&D agenda on eight broad program areas: complex systems; cyber and network security; the enabling of scientific discovery; identity-management systems; information discovery, use, and sharing; pervasive information technologies; trustworthy information systems; and virtual measurement systems. Through programs in these areas, the ITL works to support important national programs and mandates. Examples among many of these mandates include the following: the USA PATRIOT Act and the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, the Help America Vote Act of 2002, and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009.
Each of the six divisions comprising the ITL is well managed, staffed with highly capable researchers, and addressing problems of national and international interests. For example, the ITL supports the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, working to build a framework to promulgate education, training, and awareness of cybersecurity issues to every segment of the population.
The recommendations in this report are designed to address problems that exist in the ITL. These problems include the need to increase staffing in order to continue to support ITL’s mission; the need to find a new permanent, full-time chief of one division; and the need to sort out the vision in the Software and Systems Division.
In summary, NIST in general and the Information Technology Laboratory in particular are exciting places to work. The work is challenging, interesting, and clearly of importance to industry and to the commerce of the nation.
33 Cita M. Furlani, ITL Director, “The Information Technology Laboratory,” presentation to the panel, Gaithersburg, Maryland, March 21, 2011, p. 3.