Summary: S.1034 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (09/24/1991)

American Technology Preeminence Act of 1991 - Title I: Department of Commerce Research and Technology - Technology Administration Authorization Act of 1991 - Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary of Commerce, to carry out the activities of the Under Secretary for Technology and the Assistant Secretary for Technology Policy, for the following line items: (1) Office of Under Secretary; (2) Technology Policy; (3) Japanese Technical Literature; (4) Clearinghouse on State and Local Initiatives on Productivity, Technology, and Innovation; and (5) National Technical Information Service (NTIS). Prohibits: (1) transferring funds among such line items; and (2) using funds except for the purpose stated in each item.

Requires operating costs for certain NTIS activities to be recovered primarily through fees.

Mandates a report by the Secretary to the Congress responding to a specified Inspector General's Report and containing certain information and certifications.

Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for: (1) Electronics and Electrical Engineering; (2) Manufacturing Engineering; (3) Chemical Science and Technology; (4) Physics; (5) Materials Science and Engineering; (6) Building and Fire Research; (7) Computer Systems; (8) Applied Mathematics and Scientific Computing; (9) Technology Assistance; (10) Research Support Activities; (11) Additional Initiatives; and (12) renovation and upgrading of facilities. Earmarks certain amounts. Limits funds transfers among the line items. Declares that, subject to specified exceptions, this Act contains the complete authorizations of appropriations for NIST for a specified fiscal year.

Authorizes the Secretary to pay the Federal share of a pilot program under existing provisions to assist nations that have requested U.S. assistance in developing their standards.

Amends the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act (NIST Act) to remove provisions limiting the amount NIST may, without specific appropriations, spend for construction or improvement of buildings or facilities.

Requires: (1) NIST fire research and building technology programs to be combined for administrative purposes only, and separate budget accounts to be maintained; and (2) a report to the Congress on the combination and matters related to the two programs.

Makes the NIST personnel system, established as a demonstration project, the permanent personnel system for NIST.

Amends the NIST Act to authorize financial assistance to U.S. citizens for research and technical activities on Institute programs.

Authorizes, where shortages exist, recruitment and employment at NIST of foreign nationals admitted to the United States for permanent residence who intend to become U.S. citizens.

Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary to carry out the extramural industrial technology services programs of NIST under specified provisions, to be available for: (1) Regional Centers for the Transfer of Manufacturing Technology; (2) State Technology Extension Program; (3) Advanced Technology Program; and (4) Satellite Manufacturing Centers. Requires competitive merit review of extramural programs. Authorizes: (1) exemption of specific technology extension or transfer services from provisions of Federal law relating to patent rights in inventions made with Federal assistance; and (2) acceptance of funds from other Federal departments and agencies to support Regional Centers for the Transfer of Manufacturing Technology.

Amends the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 to remove provisions requiring cooperative agreements between NIST and State technology extension services to expire on September 30, 1991.

Authorizes appropriations to carry out the National Advisory Committee on Semiconductor Research and Development Act of 1988.

Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary to make any adjustments in salary, pay, retirement, and other employee benefits which may be provided for by law.

Mandates a report to specified congressional committees on what renovations and upgrades of NIST facilities are necessary over the next decade.

Prohibits awarding a contract or subcontract with funds authorized under this title for an article or material produced or manufactured in a foreign country whose 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 harms to U.S. businesses.

Makes ineligible to receive a contract or subcontract from the Department of Commerce any person who fraudulently affixes a "Made in America" label to a product.

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

Title II: Advanced Technology Program Amendments - Emerging Technologies and Advanced Technology Program Amendments Act of 1991 - Amends the NIST Act to require the Secretary and the NIST Director, in operating the Advanced Technology Program, to be guided by the findings and recommendations of the Biennial National Critical Technology Reports.

Authorizes the Secretary, through the Director, to: (1) aid industry-led joint (currently, aid joint) research and development ventures under the Program; (2) participate in such joint ventures through grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements; and (3) make grants (as well as entering into contracts and cooperative agreements) with U.S. businesses (currently, with U.S. businesses and independent research organizations) under the Program. Prohibits the Program from making an award unless the award will facilitate formation of a new joint venture or the initiation of new research and development by an existing joint venture.

Removes provisions entitling the Federal Government to a share of licensing fees and royalty payments from joint ventures.

Sets forth eligibility requirements for company participation in the Program. Requires assistance under the Program to be designed to support high risk projects with potential for eventual substantial widespread commercial application. Requires title to any intellectual property arising from assistance under the Program to vest in a company or companies incorporated in the United States. Allows the United States to retain a license in connection with such property. Allows a limited percentage of the funds appropriated for the Program to be used for standards development and technical activities by NIST in support of the purposes of the Program. Authorizes acceptance of funds from other Federal departments and agencies to support Program awards. Authorizes the Secretary, in carrying out NIST extramural funding programs, to retain amounts to pay for NIST's management of the programs.

Amends the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 and the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 to change references to the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs to references to the Under Secretary for Technology in provisions relating to: (1) membership on the Advisory Council on Federal Participation in Sematech; and (2) the conduct of a study on Federal participation in Sematech.

Title III: Amendments to the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 - Amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 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 use of appropriated funds to carry out the Act.

Adds to the duties of the Secretary, through the Under Secretary for Technology, that of serving as a focal point for discussions among U.S. companies on topics of interest to industry and labor.

Title IV: Studies and Reports - Requires the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to establish the High-Resolution Information Systems Advisory Board to monitor and foster the development of U.S.-based high-resolution information systems industries (defined as the equipment and techniques to create, transmit, receive, display, process, store, recover, and play back high-resolution images and accompanying sound). Authorizes appropriations.

Amends the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976 to mandate an annual report to the Congress on each major multinational science and technology project in which the United States is not participating and which has a total estimated cost over one billion dollars.

Modifies the required contents of the biennial national critical technologies report to the President. Allows a product or process to be considered a national critical technology if it is essential for U.S. long-term national security or economic prosperity (currently, national security and economic prosperity).

Establishes the Commission on Technology and Procurement to analyze the effect of Federal Government procurement laws, procedures, and policies on the development of advanced technologies in the United States and to make recommendations on changing Federal policy to promote the development of advanced technologies. Authorizes appropriations.

Directs the Secretary 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) to serve as a comprehensive inventory of information products and services disseminated by the Federal Government and assist agencies and the public in locating Federal Government information. Authorizes the NTIS Director to retain and use all monies received to fund obligations and expenses through the end of a specified fiscal year.

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

Directs the Secretary to contract with the National Research Council for a thorough review of international product testing and certification issues. Mandates a report to the Secretary, the President, and the Congress.

Requires the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to report to the Congress: (1) proposing a strategy for improving the university research capabilities of States which historically have received relatively little Federal research and development funding; and (2) on the feasibility and advisability of using the National Science Foundation's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research as a model for other Federal agencies.

Directs the Secretary to report to specified congressional committees regarding a plan for coordination of Commerce Department efforts with other Federal agencies concerning high-resolution information systems.