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Thank you, everybody. It is a great honor and privilege for me to be able to accept this award on behalf of all of the 3,000 employees who work here in Montgomery County.
NIST is no stranger to recognition. Our agency has been recognized with not one, not two, but three Nobel Prizes in physics since 1996. And so we're no strangers to recognition, including international recognition. But I have to tell you it is very special to be recognized by your local community. So it is a deep honor and privilege for us to be here.
I'd like to thank the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. I'd like to thank Gigi. And in particular I'd like to thank Chevy Chase Bank for sponsoring this award.
So, let me tell you quickly a little bit about NIST. We are part of the Department of Commerce. Our mission, which dates back to 1901, has been to support innovation and American competitiveness by advancing measurement science and technology.
Now, the way that NIST works has changed a lot since 1901. At the time we were founded, we were not called NIST; we were called the National Bureau of Standards. We were in downtown Washington, D.C., and we were founded at the time when the United States was in the heart of an industrial revolution. And our economy was becoming a national economy instead of a collection of state and local economies for the first time. And so NIST was defined by the challenges of that day, which were the technologies of steel, large-scale industrial innovation, and intercontinental transportation.
Today, NIST sits at a very different point. We came to Montgomery County in the mid 1960s, and today our focus is on helping America compete in a technological revolution in a global economy. And the way we are going to compete and win in that environment is by doing what Americans have always done best—relying on our ingenuity and our hard work.
And so NIST is about supporting that effort. About looking at the newest technologies that are in front of us, whether it is nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology; whether the work we're doing today is fostering renewable energy through the Smart Grid or promoting effective health care through information and technology. NIST is here to help us pave a way to achieve that future.
And what makes me particularly proud is that NIST doesn't do this work alone. We don't live in Montgomery County and go behind the fence and do this work.
This work is a partnership with all of you. This is about not only setting the conditions where you can compete and thrive in this global economy, but we actually depend on you to help carry out this mission.
So, I think this recognition that we're receiving today is a shared vision for the future that we want to work with you to achieve. On behalf of everybody who works at NIST, we simply couldn't be more proud to be part of this community. This is where the whole world is looking to secure our future, and we're delighted to work in partnership with you to see it happen. Thank you very much.