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ANSI Hosts Administration Leaders for Introduction to New NSTC Standards Subcommittee

Continued collaboration with private sector is key part of Federal strategy for innovation

New York, Apr 19, 2010

On April 13, 2010, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) hosted an open meeting with leaders of the White House’s newly formed National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Subcommittee on Standards:
  • Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer

  • Pat Gallagher, Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology

  • Phil Weiser, Senior Advisor to the National Economic Council Director for Technology and Innovation.

Audio Recording Now Available

In an effort to disseminate this discussion as broadly as possible, ANSI is pleased to offer an audio recording of the meeting, available online now.

“As the coordinator of the U.S. standards and conformance system, ANSI was honored to bring these administration leaders together for a meaningful discussion with the private sector,” said S. Joe Bhatia, ANSI president and CEO.

“This was a unique opportunity for the standardization community to hear about the NSTC initiative first hand from the individuals who are spearheading the effort.”

Mr. Chopra, Dr. Gallagher, and Mr. Weiser offered several key points on the nature of this new subcommittee and its specific strategy and goals. Specifically, the NSTC Subcommittee on Standards will:

    1) Make the government a more effective partner with private sector on standardization activities

    2) Raise awareness within government agencies and lift the level of sophistication for meaningful government participation in standards development

    3) Be focused on continued results and feedback rather than a single report

The American economy has benefited greatly from our model for standards. This voluntary, open, bottom up, consensus-driven, private sector–led, and performance-based system has been absolutely critical to ensuring our success in addressing national priorities.

– Aneesh Chopra

The subcommittee will not seek to direct how standards are set, nor will it dictate how the private sector conducts standards development activities. All three leaders were emphatic in their continued support for the nation’s current voluntary, consensus-driven standards and conformance system.

Mr. Chopra cited the open, market-driven, and private-sector led nature of our nation’s system as critical to achieving one of President Obama’s chief goals: the growth of U.S. leadership and innovation on the global stage. Recognizing that standards and conformance are the building blocks of innovation, Mr. Chopra explained that the subcommittee will work in partnership with the private sector to meet the President’s goal.

We need to identify the right policies for successful government coordination and participation.

– Phil Weiser

An opportunity to make the government a more effective participant in standards development, the subcommittee was characterized by Mr. Weiser as an awareness-raising mechanism. In his view, more effective and coordinated government participation will meet both the Administration’s objectives and the nation’s needs.

The interplay of technology and policy drove the creation of this committee to proactively approach priorities across government agencies

– Pat Gallagher

Dr. Gallagher explained that private-public partnerships, when appropriate, will be considered in addressing priority issues in the public policy arena, mentioning the examples of heath care IT and Smart Grid. In addition, he described the critical role that conformity assessment activities such as testing, certification, and accreditation play in our nation’s existing standardization system. Finally, Dr. Gallagher emphasized the importance of an ongoing open dialog with the private sector, with this meeting as just the first step.

A brief question-and-answer session followed the remarks. The meeting was held during ANSI’s Company Member Forum at the Consumer Electronics Association in Arlington, Virginia, and was attended by over 60 in-person participants and nearly 100 via webinar.

To listen to a recording of the meeting, click here. A slideshow of photos from the meeting is also available.

The NSTC Subcommittee on Standards was established in March 2010 by Mr. Chopra along with Vivek Kundra, U.S. Chief Information Officer, and Cass Sunstein, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The Subcommittee is co-chaired by Dr. Gallagher and Mr. Weiser.

According to a blog posting by Mr. Chopra, “This interagency group will provide high-level leadership so federal agencies are strategically focused and actively engaged on critical standards-related issues. The improved coordination will, in turn, ensure that agencies can work in a responsive and timely fashion with the private sector so that effective standards are developed and put into practice to meet the Nation’s needs.”

ANSI Nanotechnology Standards Panel