Summary: S.2802 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (07/19/2006)

American Innovation and Competitiveness Act of 2006 - Title I: Office of Science and Technology Policy; Government-Wide Science - (Sec. 101) Directs the President to convene a National Science and Technology Summit to examine the health and direction of U.S. science and technology enterprises. Requires the: (1) President to issue a report on Summit results; and (2) Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to publish an annual report recommending areas of investment for federal research and technology programs.

(Sec. 102) Directs the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study to identify, and to review methods to mitigate, new forms of risk for businesses beyond conventional operational and financial risk that affect the ability to innovate. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 103) Amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to rename the National Technology Medal as the National Technology and Innovation Medal.

(Sec. 104) Requires the OSTP Director to: (1) develop and issue a set of principles for the communication to the public of scientific information by government scientists, policy makers, and managers; and (2) ensure that all civilian federal agencies that conduct scientific research develop specific policies and procedures regarding the public release of scientific information consistent with the principles developed.

(Sec. 105) Expresses the sense of Congress that the OSTP should: (1) encourage all elementary and middle schools to observe a Math and Science Day twice in every school year to excite and inspire students to pursue math and science fields; (2) initiate a program to provide support mechanisms and tools to encourage federal employees with scientific, technological, engineering, or mathematical responsibilities to reach out to local classrooms on such Math and Science Days; and (3) promote Math and Science Days involvement by private sector and institutions of higher learning employees.

(Sec. 106) Expresses the sense of Congress that the federal government should better understand and respond strategically to the emerging vocation and learning discipline known as service science. Requires the OSTP Director to conduct a study on how the federal government should support the new discipline of service science through research, education, and training.

(Sec. 107) Requires the OSTP Director to: (1) review all provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, including tax provisions, compliance costs, and reporting requirements; and (2) report to Congress and the President on any such provisions that discourage or encourage innovation.

(Sec. 108) Directs the OSTP Director to review and report to Congress and the President on all federal regulations that discourage or encourage innovation.

Title II: Innovation Promotion - (Sec. 201) Directs the President to establish a President's Council on Innovation and Competitiveness to, among other things: (1) monitor implementation of public laws and initiatives for promoting innovation; (2) develop a process to assess the impact of existing and proposed policies and rules that affect U.S. innovation capabilities; (3) measure federal government progress in improving conditions for innovation; (4) report to the President and Congress on such progress; and (5) develop a comprehensive agenda for strengthening the innovation and competitiveness capabilities of the federal government, state governments, academia, and the private sector.

(Sec. 202) Directs the President to: (1) establish the Innovation Acceleration Grants Program to support and promote innovation in the United States; and (2) ensure as a goal of each executive agency that finances research in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology the allocation of approximately eight percent of its total annual research and development budget to fund grants under the Program. Outlines grant requirements and conditions, including a three-year duration and grant evaluations.

Title III: National Science Foundation - (Sec. 301) Authorizes appropriations to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for FY2007-FY2011. Requires the NSF Director to submit to specified congressional committees a comprehensive, multiyear plan describing how the authorized funds will be used.

(Sec. 302) Requires the NSF Director, over the five-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, to expand the Graduate Research Fellowship Program and the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program to include an additional 1,250 fellowships and grants for each program. Authorizes appropriations for each program.

(Sec. 303) Requires the NSF Director to: (1) establish a clearinghouse, in collaboration with four-year institutions of higher education and federal agencies that employ science-trained personnel, to share program elements used in successful professional science masters degree programs and other advanced degree programs related to science, mathematics, technology, and engineering; (2) make such clearinghouse available to institutions of higher education that are developing professional science masters degree programs; and (3) award grants for pilot programs to four-year institutions of higher education to facilitate the creation or improvement of such degree programs. Provides a grant preference to applicants that secure more than two-thirds of degree program funding from sources other than the federal government. Allows the award of up to 200 grants, each for a three-year period. Requires the NSF Director to evaluate the pilot program and report results to Congress. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 304) Authorizes appropriations for FY2007-FY2010 to carry out the physical science, mathematics, engineering, and technology talent expansion program of the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002. Amends such Act to encourage students involved in such programs to conduct outreach at middle and secondary schools in order to increase student exposure to engineering and technology.

(Sec. 305) Requires the NSF Director, in considering NSF science research proposals and awards, to include consideration of the degree to which awards and research activities may assist in meeting critical national needs in innovation, competitiveness, the physical and natural sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

(Sec. 306) Authorizes appropriations for FY2007-FY2011 for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research under the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 1988.

(Sec. 307) Requires the NSF Director to establish a program to provide: (1) mentors for women interested in careers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics; and (2) grants to community colleges to provide apprenticeships and other appropriate training to allow women to enter into higher-paying technical jobs in fields related to science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Requires evaluations of each program.

(Sec. 308) Requires the NSF Director to develop and publish a plan that describes the current status of broadband access for scientific research in certain states and outlines actions which can be taken to ensure that such connections are available to enable participation in those NSF programs which rely heavily on high-speed networking and collaborations across institutions and regions.

(Sec. 309) States that nothing in this Act shall be interpreted to require or recommend that the NSF: (1) alter or modify its merit-review system or peer-review process; or (2) exclude the awarding of any proposal by means of the merit-review or peer-review process.

Title IV: National Aeronautics and Space Administration - (Sec. 401) Expresses the sense of Congress: (1) recognizing the critical role that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has played in stimulating excellence in the advancement of physical science and engineering disciplines and the pursuit of academic studies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; and (2) that a robust and fully-funded NASA could attract and employ scientists, engineers, and technicians across a broad range of fields in such studies. Directs the NASA Administrator to fully participate in any interagency efforts to promote innovation and economic competitiveness through scientific research and development.

(Sec. 402) Directs the NASA Administrator to establish an Aeronautics Institute for Research to manage NASA aeronautics research.

(Sec. 403) Requires the NASA Administrator, the NSF Director, and the Secretaries of Energy, Defense, and Commerce to coordinate basic and fundamental research activities related to physical sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Directs the NASA Administrator to establish a Basic Research Executive Council to oversee the distribution and management of NASA programs and resources engaged in support of basic research activity.

(Sec. 404) Expresses the sense of Congress that the NASA Administrator should implement a program to address aging workforce issues in aerospace.

(Sec. 406) Requires the NASA Administrator to increase funding for basic science and research, including for the Explorer Program, for FY2007 by $160 million by transfer from other NASA accounts.

Title V: National Institute of Standards and Technology - (Sec. 501) Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary of Commerce for FY2007-FY2011 for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program.

(Sec. 502) Amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to eliminate within the Department of Commerce the Technology Administration and the position of Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology.

(Sec. 503) Requires the NIST Director to: (1) establish the Standards and Technology Acceleration Research Program to support and promote innovation in the United States through high-risk, high-reward research; and (2) set aside not less than eight percent of available NIST funds each fiscal year for the Program. Requires the NIST Director to issue an annual report on Program activities.

(Sec. 504) Amends the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to require any Regional Center for the Transfer of Manufacturing Technology (established under such Act) that has not received a positive evaluation to be notified of its deficiencies and placed on probation for one year, after which the evaluation panel shall reevaluate such Center. Allows, after continuing deficiencies, the selection of a new Center operator or Center closure.

Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce and the NIST Director to accept funds from other federal departments and agencies and the private sector for the purpose of strengthening U.S. manufacturing.

(Sec. 505) Requires the NIST Director to reestablish the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Technology. States that the purpose of such Program shall be to strengthen the technological competitiveness of those states that have historically received less federal research and development funding than the majority of states have received. Authorizes grants and cooperative agreements under the Program. Requires: (1) at least 50 percent non-federal matching funds for Program activities; and (2) a Program report from the NIST Director to the science committees.

(Sec. 506) Makes technical amendments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act and other acts, including matters concerning NIST fellowships, NIST grants and cooperative agreements, and time and metric system definitions.

Title VI: Ocean and Atmospheric Programs - (Sec. 601) Directs the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to establish a coordinated program of ocean and atmospheric research and development, in collaboration with academic institutions and other nongovernmental entities, that focuses on the development of advanced technologies and analytical methods that will promote U.S. leadership in ocean and atmospheric science, as well as competitiveness in the applied uses of such knowledge.

(Sec. 602) Requires the NOAA Administrator to conduct, develop, support, promote, and coordinate formal and informal educational activities to enhance public awareness and understanding of ocean, coastal, and atmospheric science and stewardship by the general public and other coastal stakeholders, including underrepresented groups in ocean and atmospheric science and policy careers.

Requires the NOAA Administrator, appropriate NOAA programs, ocean and atmospheric science and education experts, and interested members of the public to: (1) develop a science education plan setting forth education goals and strategies for NOAA, as well as actions to carry out such goals and strategies over the next 20 years; and (2) evaluate and update such plan every five years.