Ed. Note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series, which highlights members of
the Department of Commerce who are contributing to the president's vision of
winning the future through their work.
Phillip Singerman is the Associate Director for
Innovation and Industry Services at the National Institute of Standards and
In January I was honored to be selected by Pat
Gallagher, Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
(NIST), to serve as Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services,
with responsibility for NIST’s suite of nationally recognized
industry-partnership programs, the Hollings Manufacturing Extension
Partnership, the Technology Innovation Program, the Baldrige Performance
Excellence Program, technology transfer and SBIR grants. These programs
are central to NIST’s mission and to the president’s innovation strategy of
using science and technology to drive economic development, and are staffed by
professionals of skill, dedication and integrity.
My professional career has focused on economic development
at the local, state and regional levels in public, non-profit and private
organizations. In my current role, I continue to have the opportunity to
work with the regional public-private partnerships, young entrepreneurial
firms and universities which populate the innovation ecosystem.
This is my second turn at Commerce. During the latter
half of the 1990s I served as Assistant Secretary for Economic Development;
what has struck me upon my return to the Department is the higher level of
coordination among bureaus, particularly NIST with EDA, USPTO, and ITA, and the leadership
exercised by the National Economic Council and Office of Science and Technology
Policy to encourage inter-departmental collaboration.