Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (10/25/1990)

High-Performance Computing Act of 1990 - Declares that this Act does not apply to computer systems that process classified information or are used in connection with certain defense purposes. Allows Federal agencies and departments to procure prototype or early production models of new high-performance computer systems and subsystems to stimulate hardware and software development.

Title I: The High-Performance Computing Act of 1990 - Amends the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976 to direct the President, through the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology (Council), to develop a National High-Performance Computing Plan, to be submitted to the Congress within one year of this title's enactment and revised at least biennially. Requires the plan to recommend a five-year proposal of goals and priorities for a Federal high-performance computing program. Describes required plan contents, including funding requirements and suggested roles for various Federal agencies.

Designates the Council as the lead entity responsible for development and implementation of the plan, directing it to coordinate related activities among the agencies and review budget estimates.

Directs the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to establish a High-Performance Computing Advisory Panel to provide the Council with an assessment of the plan.

Directs each Federal entity involved in high-performance computing to submit, as part of its annual budget request, a report on the role of its activities with regard to the plan and relevant budget requests.

Instructs the Chairman of the Council to submit to the President and to the Congress, by March 1 annually, a report on plan achievements and progress.

Requires the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other appropriate agencies to provide for the establishment of a national multi-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 education community.

Requires the Department of Defense, through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, to support research and development of advance fiber optics technology, switches, and protocols needed to develop the Network.

Gives to the National Science Foundation, within the Federal Government, the primary responsibility for connecting colleges, universities, and libraries to the Network.

Directs the President, through the Council, to establish an entity or entities to carry out certain functions with regard to the Network, including: (1) developing goals and strategies; (2) identifying the roles of Federal agencies and departments; and (3) overseeing the Network's operation and evolution.

Requires the Council to submit to the Congress a report on funding mechanisms for the Network, including user fees, industry support, and continued Federal investment, and containing a plan for the eventual commercialization of the Network.

Requires the National Institute of Standards and Technology to adopt standards and guidelines to provide interoperability, common user interfaces, and enhanced security for the Network.

Requires the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to report to the Congress on specified matters, including: (1) charging commercial information service providers for Network access; (2) charging Network users for commercial services; (3) the technological feasibility of allowing commercial services to use the Network and other federally-funded networks; (4) copyright protection; and (5) resource security and user privacy.

Requires the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide funding to enable researchers to access supercomputers. Sets forth other responsibilities of the NSF, including: (1) promoting development of information services that could be provided over the Network; and (2) expanding efforts to improve and distribute unclassified public-domain software developed by federally-funded researchers and other software.

Authorizes appropriations to the NSF for the purposes of this title.

Requires the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to continue to conduct basic and applied research in high-performance computing, with specified emphases. Authorizes appropriations to NASA for the purposes of this Act.

Requires the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to: (1) adopt standards and guidelines, and develop measurement techniques and test methods, for the interoperability of high-performance computers in networks and for common user interfaces to systems; and (2) develop benchmark tests and standards for high performance computers and software.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce to conduct a study regarding the impact of Federal procurement regulations which require that contractors providing software to the Federal Government share the rights to proprietary software development tools that the contractors used to develop the software.

Amends the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976 to replace provisions making the Federal Government responsible for updating congressional findings, goals, and policies in the Act with provisions declaring that the development and implementation of long-range, interagency research plans regarding identified national and international concerns, and for which a sustained and coordinated commitment to improving scientific understanding will be required.

Replaces provisions setting forth the establishment, membership, and functions of the Council with new provisions on the functions of the Council, including: (1) planning and administration of Federal programs; (2) identifying research needs; (3) achieving effective utilization of resources and facilities; and (4) furthering international cooperation.

Title II: Department of Energy High-Performance Computing Act of 1990 - Department of Energy High-Performance Computing Act of 1990 - Directs the Secretary of Energy, subject to available appropriations, to establish a High-Performance Computing Program (HPC Program). Directs the Secretary to establish a management plan to carry out HPC Program activities.

Directs the Secretary of Energy to provide for a high-performance computer network (DOE Network) to link government, research, industry, and education constituencies of the Department of Energy (DOE). Authorizes the Secretary to create networks or make use of existing networks, including the Network established under title I of this Act.

Directs the Secretary to promote education and research by making the DOE's high performance computing resources more available to undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty.

Directs the Secretary to establish at least two Collaborative Consortia to engage in specified activities, including: (1) undertaking research and development; (2) promoting testing; (3) serving as a vehicle for computing vendors to test new ideas; and (4) disseminating information. Requires each Consortium to have a lead institution which is a national laboratory with certain experience and participants from industry. Applies the National Cooperative Research Act of 1984 to research activities under these provisions. Allows each Consortium to be established by a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement as provided in the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980.

Authorizes the Secretary, in accordance with applicable law, to cooperative with, seek help from, provide funds to, or enter into contracts with private contractors, government, universities, and any other entity in carrying out the provisions of this Act.

Requires, except as otherwise provided by the National Competitiveness Technology Transfer Act of 1989, that title to any invention or software developed under this title vest in the United States and be governed by the Federal Nonnuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 1974. Provides for the protection of trade secrets and privileged and confidential information obtained from a non-Federal party under this title.

Authorizes appropriations for the purposes of this title.