Summary: H.R.4329 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (07/11/1990)

American Technology Preeminence Act - Title I: Department of Commerce Research and Technology - Technology Administration Authorization Act of 1990 - Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary of Commerce to carry out the following activities of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): (1) measurement research and standards; (2) materials science and engineering; (3) engineering measurements and standards; (4) computer science and technology; (5) research support activities; and (6) cold neutron source facility; and (7) technology services. Earmarks specified amounts for: (1) steel technology; (2) the Center for Fire Research; (3) the technical competence fund; (4) the evaluation of nonenergy-related inventions and related technology extension activities; and (5) the Center for Building Technology. Permits transfers of funds among activities under specified conditions. Prohibits the merger of the Center for Building Technology and the Center for Fire Research.

Authorizes the use of certain funds to pay the Federal share of the cost of a pilot program to assist in the development of comprehensive industrial standards for countries that have requested such assistance, if other conditions are met.

Authorizes additional appropriations for FY 1990 through 1992 for: (1) the Office of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology; (2) carrying out the Japanese Technical Literature Act of 1986; (3) modernization of the National Technical Information Service (NTIS); (4) the Clearinghouse for State and Local Initiatives on Productivity, Technology, and Innovation; and (5) adjustments in salary, pay, retirement, and other employee benefits which may be provided for by law. Requires NTIS operating costs, associated with the acquisition and storage of information, to be recovered through the collection of fees.

Amends Federal law to remove the cap on expenditures for construction and improvement of NIST buildings and facilities which requires congressional approval, but retains the requirement that such expenditures be within the limits of funds appropriated to NIST.

Amends Federal law to authorize appropriations for the Regional Centers for the Transfer of Manufacturing Technology (Centers).

Amends the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 to authorize appropriations to carry out provisions relating to technology extension services. Removes provisions terminating, on a specified date, certain cooperative agreements between NIST and State technology extension services.

Amends Federal law to establish within NIST an Office of Technology Services to supervise the Centers Program, NIST's assistance to State technology programs, and other activities or programs as the Secretary or the NIST Director may specify.

Prohibits funds appropriated for NIST activities from being expended unless the activities have been specifically authorized by law.

Prohibits awarding a contract or subcontract made with funds authorized under this Act to any person or enterprise domiciled or operating under the laws of a foreign government if that government unfairly maintains in government procurement a significant and persistent pattern or practice of discrimination against U.S. products or services which results in identifiable harm to U.S. businesses, as identified by the President under the Trade Agreement Act of 1979.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce to declare any person who fraudulently affixes a label indiciating that a product was made in America ineligible to receive any contract or subcontract from the Department of Commerce for three to five years.

Authorizes the Secretary, in certain circumstances, to award to a domestic firm a contract for the purchase of goods that, under competitive procedures, would be awarded to a foreign firm.

Title II: Advanced Technology Program Amendments - Emerging Technology Research and Development Act of 1990 - Amends Federal law to authorize the Secretary of Commerce, through the Director of NIST, to provide assistance as necessary to identify and solve generic technology and manufacturing problems in emerging technology fields, including high resolution information systems and advanced materials research and development, so as to speed commercialization of products and services based on these technologies, and to establish procedures for technology sharing and technology transfer among members of a joint venture while protecting against transfer of intellectual properties, trade secrets, or proprietary data overseas.

Authorizes the Secretary, through the Director, to make grants and enter into contracts and cooperative agreements under the Advanced Technology Program, including as a method for participating in U.S. joint research and development ventures (joint ventures). Limits the amount of any such contract or award (currently, any such contract or cooperative agreement).

Directs the Secretary, through the Director, to negotiate an agreement with any recipients of assistance under the Program: (1) delineating, for joint venture participants, their activities and responsibilities; and (2) specifying, for all recipients, a period of time during which the Federal Government shall receive payments from any profits of the venture in proportion to the Federal share of the cost or, as an alternative, an option to pay an amount determined by the Secretary to be equal to the full Federal investment plus a reasonable return on such investment.

Sets forth criteria for determining whether a company shall be considered a U.S. business and other eligibility criteria.

Requires grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements under the Program to be designed to support projects which are high risk and which have potential for eventual substantial widespread commercial application.

Vests title to any intellectual property arising from assistance provided under the Program in a company or companies incorporated in the United States or Canada, allowing the United States to reserve certain licensing rights, and prohibiting the transfer of rights to the property to a non-U.S. or non-Canadian company before the expiration of the first patent obtained in connection with the property.

Allows the Secretary to suspend a company or joint venture from continued assistance under the Program if there is a failure to meet certain requirements or if it is in the national interest to do so.

Authorizes the Secretary, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology, and the Director to organize industry advisory committees as appropriate.

Authorizes the use of up to a specified percentage of the funds appropriated for the Program for standards development.

Authorizes appropriations for the Program.

Title III: Amendments to Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 - Amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (Stevenson-Wydler Act) to remove fiscal year limitations from provisions requiring that each Federal agency transfer an amount to NIST for the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer.

Adds references to intellectual property to provisions defining "cooperative research and development agreement." Amends the definition of "Federal agency" to include any agency of the legislative branch.

Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to use appropriated funds to carry out the Secretary's responsibilities under the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Improvement Act of 1987.

Title IV: Office of Science and Technology Policy - Requires the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to report annually to the Congress on all major science and technology proposals involving more than one country and having a total estimated cost greater than a specified sum.

Amends the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976 (STPOP) to add a new title to be cited as the National High Performance Computer Technology Program Act of 1990.

Directs the President, through the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology, to develop a National High Performance Computer Technology Plan containing recommendations for a five-year national effort. Mandates that the plan include: (1) funding requirements; and (2) the establishment of a mult-gigabit-per-second research and education computer network by 1996, to be known as the National Research and Education Network, to link government, industry and the higher education community, to provide computer users with access to supercomputers, data bases, and other research facilities, and to meet other goals. Requires the Plan to define the organizational arrangement for managing the operation of the Network.

Requires the Council to develop the Plan, coordinate the high performance computing research and development activities of Federal agencies, and establish an advisory board.

Amends the STPOP to establish a National Commission on Reducing Capital Costs for Emerging Technology to develop recommendations to increase the competitiveness of U.S. industry by encouraging investment in quality, product and process improvements, and new product development and marketing. Terminates the Commission six months after submission of a specified report. Authorizes appropriations.

Requires the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to establish within that office a Commission on Procurement and Technology to develop recommendations for changes to Federal procurement laws, procedures, and policies with respect to the development of advanced technologies. Terminates the Commission six months after submission of its final report. Authorizes appropriations.

Title V: Information Collection and Dissemination - Directs the Secretary of Commerce to report to specified congressional committees on the feasibility of establishing and operating a Federal Online Information Product Catalog (FEDLINE) at the National Technical Information Service (NTIS).

Amends the National Technical Act of 1988 to add producing and disseminating products in electronic format to the duties of the NTIS.

Title VI: High Resolution Information Systems - Requires the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to establish within that office a High Resolution Information Systems Board to foster and monitor the development of U.S. based high resolution information systems industries. Includes high definition television in the definition of such systems.

Title VII: Reports - Amends the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976 (STPOP) to require that the biennial national critical technologies report include the most economically important emerging civilian technologies during the ten-year period following the report, together with the estimated current and future size of domestic and international markets for products derived from these technologies. Allows a product or process technology to be considered to be a national critical technology if it is essential for U.S. long-term national security or (currently, and) economic prosperity. Requires each report to identify technology base gaps between the United States and its major trading partners and list the technologies and markets targeted by major trading partners for development or capture.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce to report to the Congress on the feasibility and advisability of establishing, in affiliation with NIST, a Quality Institute and privately-funded foundation to support that Institute.

Requires the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to propose to the Congress a strategy for improving the university research capabilities of those States which historically have received relatively little Federal research and development funding.

Requires the Director of the National Science Foundation to enter into a contract with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis for the development of a methodology or approach that can be used in the establishment of international product standards. Authorizes the use of a specified sum of the amounts authorized under the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 1988 to carry out such requirement.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce to submit to specified congressional committees a plan for coordination of Commerce Department efforts with other Federal agencies for activities related to high resolution information systems including research and development activities.