Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (09/23/1992)

Title I: General Provisions - National Competitiveness Act of 1992 - Sets forth the purposes and goals of this Act.

Title II: Manufacturing - Manufacturing Technology and Extension Act of 1992 - Amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to designate the Department of Commerce (Department) as the lead civilian Federal agency to work with U.S. industry, State and local governments, and private entities to enhance U.S. manufacturing capabilities.

Establishes the Commerce Technology Advisory Board.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to establish in the Department on Advanced Manufacturing Program which shall include advanced manufacturing systems and networking projects. States that the Program's goal shall be to create U.S. technology development programs in order to develop design and manufacturing technologies and associated applications, including advanced computer integration and electronic networks. States that the Program shall include: (1) the advanced manufacturing research and development activities at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Institute); and (2) one or more technology development testbeds.

Establishes the National Manufacturing Outreach Network to assist U.S. manufacturers, especially small and medium-sized firms, to expand the use of technology and modern manufacturing processes. Provides for: (1) a related communications infrastructure; (2) an information clearinghouse, and (3) manufacturing outreach centers.

Authorizes the Secretary to make American workforce quality partnership grants to create workforce training consortia between industry and institutions of higher education.

Amends the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to authorize the Institute to establish local manufacturing offices. Eliminates the requirement that a Manufacturing Technology Center be financially self-supporting after six years of operation. Establishes within the Institute a State Technology Extension Program.

Requires the Director of the National Science Foundation to expand the number of Engineering Research Centers and strengthen the Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program. Authorizes the Director to establish: (1) graduate traineeships; (2) a manufacturing managers in the classroom program; and (3) a quality management training program.

Title III: Critical Technologies - Subtitle A: Miscellaneous - Directs the Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology (Under Secretary) to conduct a study of semiconductor lithography technologies.

Subtitle B: Advanced Technology Program - Directs the Secretary to submit to the Congress an expansion plan for the Advanced Technology program.

Subtitle C: Technology Development Loans - Authorizes the Secretary to make technology commercialization loans.

Subtitle D: Critical Technologies Development-Part I: General Provisions - Critical Technologies Development Act of 1992 - Establishes within the Technology Administration of the Department a Critical Technologies Development Program.

Directs the Under Secretary to establish a critical technologies development advisory committee.

Part II: Program Structure and Operation - Establishes a program of financing qualified business concerns through federally assisted licensees.

Part III: Enforcement - Provides for license enforcement.

Title IV: Miscellaneous - Amends the American Technology Preeminence Act of 1991 to expand the Institute's standards pilot program to permit contracts with non-Federal organizations to promote U.S. technical standards dissemination activities abroad. Requires the Secretary to report to the Congress on the appropriate Federal role in developing and promulgating domestic and global product and quality standards.

Amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to prohibit the making of a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award within a category or subcategory if there are no qualifying enterprises in that category or subcategory. Makes educational instituions an Award category.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a competitiveness research program.

Prohibits the fraudulent use of "Made in America" labels. Provides for compliance with the Buy America Act.

Renames the Department as the Department of Manufacturing and Commerce.

Technology Transfer Improvements Act of 1992 - Amends Federal law to allow each Federal agency to: (1) secure copyright on behalf of the United States in any computer software prepared in whole or in part by U.S. employees under a cooperative research and development agreement or other authority, notwithstanding provisions of Federal copyright law; and (2) grant in advance to a collaborating party licenses or assignments for the copyrights, or options thereto, retaining specified rights.

Adds references to software and its author to provisions governing the distribution of royalties received by Federal agencies.

Title V: Authorization of Appropriations - Authorizes appropriations for: (1) the Office of the Under Secretary; (2) technology policy; (3) Japanese technical literature; and (4) competitiveness research, data collection, and evaluation.

Provides for a National Technical Information Service facilities study.

Authorizes appropriations for the Institute for: (1) intramural scientific and technical research and services; (2) facilities renovation; and (3) extramural industrial technology services.

Authorizes appropriations for: (1) the National Manufacturing Outreach Network; (2) the Technology Development Loan Program; (3) the Critical Technologies Development Program; and (4) National Science Foundation manufacturing activities.

Title VI: Fastener Quality Act Amendments - Amends the Fastener Quality Act to: (1) make technical amendments; and (2) establish an alternative procedure for demonstrating chemical compliance with specified lot standards.