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NIST Director William Jeffrey Addresses ANSI Board

New York, Nov 04, 2005

“Increasingly, the U.S. standards system must be able to mobilize quickly to respond to emerging national priorities -- and now, more than ever, these national priorities include innovation and competitiveness. Addressing these issues require proactive efforts on the part of both the private and public sectors, and active collaboration across all affected interest areas.”

These remarks were delivered at a recent meeting of the American National Standards Institute’s Board of Directors by Dr. William Jeffrey, director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Dr. Jeffrey was on hand to share his thoughts on his vision for enhanced partnership between NIST and ANSI, and ways both organizations can ensure that they are acting in support of U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness.

“We at NIST are proud of our longstanding partnership with ANSI. Both of our organizations are committed to enhancing the nation’s standards system in support of U.S. competitiveness, economic growth, and protection of health, safety and the environment.”

Dr. Jeffrey said NIST was determined to be an effective agent for change for enhanced standards efficiency and effectiveness. In order to achieve this, he envisioned improvements in the operating structure of NIST itself, a strengthening of the Department of Commerce’s role as an advocate for U.S.-standards related interests, both within the U.S. government and with foreign governments, and improvements within the overall U.S standards-setting system, including developing “a more seamless interface between the U.S. system and international processes.”

Said Brailer, "The U.S. system also faces competition from other countries and regions that are maneuvering - often very effectively - to turn their more centralized systems into a competitive advantage. While U.S. interests – both private and public – derive significant advantage from the U.S. standards system’s flexibility and responsiveness, there is, undeniably, room for improvement."

Dr. Jeffrey also acknowledged that his agency and the rest of Commerce can take a more active role in educating top business leaders as to the importance of maintaining an active role in domestic and global standards activities.

“The globalization of the economy has raised the stakes considerably in standards development. The United States needs to be at the top of its game as a global player. Anything less will harm U.S. business competitiveness and undermine the public interest in reducing standards-related barriers to trade.”

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