Text: H.R.4413 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (01/12/2010)


111th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 4413


To provide grants and loan guarantees for the development and construction of science parks to promote the clustering of innovation through high technology activities.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 12, 2010

Ms. Giffords (for herself and Mr. Heinrich) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology


A BILL

To provide grants and loan guarantees for the development and construction of science parks to promote the clustering of innovation through high technology activities.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Science Parks Research and Innovative New Technologies Act”.

SEC. 2. Development of science parks.

(a) Finding.—Section 2 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3701) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(12) It is in the best interests of the Nation to encourage the formation of science parks to promote the clustering of innovation through high technology activities.”.

(b) Definition.—Section 4 of such Act (15 U.S.C. 3703) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(12) ‘Brownfield’ means abandoned, idled, or underused industrial or commercial real property on which expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.

“(13) ‘Business or industrial park’ means a primarily for-profit real estate venture of businesses or industries which do not necessarily reinforce each other through supply chain or technology transfer mechanisms.

“(14) ‘Cluster’ means a group of competing, collaborating, and interdependent businesses that—

“(A) work in a common industry;

“(B) are concentrated in a geographic region;

“(C) draw on shared infrastructure and a pool of skilled workers; and

“(D) represent the specialization and comparative advantage of the region.

“(15) ‘Science park’—

“(A) means a centralized or regionally distributed group of interrelated companies and institutions, including suppliers, service providers, institutions of higher education, Federal or State laboratories, start-up incubators, clusters, and trade associations that—

“(i) foster knowledge flow and contribute to regional economic growth and development;

“(ii) cooperate and compete with each other through physical connectivity or networked virtual parks where technologies cluster, including companies, researchers, and community college workforce training activities; and

“(iii) are located in a specific area or region that promotes real estate development or knowledge-based enterprises, technology transfer, and partnerships between such companies and institutions;

“(B) includes a science park, research park, technology park, research and development park, research and technology park, and science and technology park; and

“(C) does not include a business or industrial park.

“(16) ‘Science park infrastructure’ means facilities that support the daily economic activity of a science park.”.

(c) Science parks.—The Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“SEC. 24. Science parks.

“(a) Development of plans for construction of science parks.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall award grants for the development of feasibility studies and plans for the construction of new science parks or the expansion, including renovation and modernization, of existing science parks.

“(2) LIMITATION ON AMOUNT OF GRANTS.—The amount of a grant awarded under this subsection may not exceed $750,000.

“(3) AWARD.—

“(A) COMPETITION REQUIRED.—The Secretary shall award grants under this subsection pursuant to a full and open competition.

“(B) GEOGRAPHIC DISPERSION.—The Secretary is encouraged to divide the grants awarded under this subsection among low-, medium-, and high-population density States.

“(C) ADVERTISING.—The Secretary shall advertise any competition under this paragraph in the Commerce Business Daily.

“(D) SELECTION CRITERIA.—The Secretary shall publish the criteria to be utilized in any competition under this paragraph for the selection of recipients of grants under this subsection, which shall include requirements relating to—

“(i) the effect the science park will have on regional economic growth and development;

“(ii) the number of jobs to be created at the science park and in the surrounding regional community each year during its first 5 years;

“(iii) the funding to be required to construct or expand, including renovating or modernizing, the science park during its first 5 years;

“(iv) the amount and type of financing and access to capital available to the applicant;

“(v) the types of businesses and research entities expected in the science park and in the surrounding regional community;

“(vi) letters of intent by businesses and research entities to locate in the science park;

“(vii) the quality of life for employees at the science park;

“(viii) the capability to attract a well trained workforce to the science park;

“(ix) the management of the science park;

“(x) expected financial risks in the construction and operation of the science park and the risk mitigation strategy;

“(xi) physical infrastructure available to the science park, including roads, utilities, and telecommunications;

“(xii) the utilization of energy efficient building technology, including nationally recognized green building design practices, renewable energy, cogeneration, and other methods that increase energy efficiency and conservation;

“(xiii) consideration of the transformation of military bases affected by the base realignment and closure process (BRAC) or the redevelopment of existing buildings, structures, or brownfield sites that are abandoned, idled, or underused into single or multiple building facilities for science and technology companies and institutions;

“(xiv) the ability to collaborate with other science parks throughout the world; and

“(xv) other criteria prescribed by the Secretary.

“(4) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are authorized to be appropriated $7,500,000 for each of the fiscal years 2011 through 2015 to carry out this subsection.

“(b) Loan guarantees for science park infrastructure.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary may guarantee up to 80 percent of the loan amount for projects for the construction or expansion, including renovation and modernization, of science park infrastructure.

“(2) LIMITATIONS ON GUARANTEE AMOUNTS.—The maximum amount of loan principal guaranteed under this subsection may not exceed—

“(A) $50,000,000 with respect to any single project; and

“(B) $500,000,000 with respect to all projects.

“(3) SELECTION OF GUARANTEE RECIPIENTS.—The Secretary shall select recipients of loan guarantees under this subsection based upon the ability of the recipient to collateralize the loan amount through bonds, equity, property, and other such criteria as the Secretary shall prescribe. Entities receiving a grant under subsection (a) are not eligible for a loan guarantee during the period of such grant.

“(4) TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR LOAN GUARANTEES.—The loans guaranteed under this subsection shall be subject to such terms and conditions as the Secretary may prescribe, except that—

“(A) the final maturity of such loans made or guaranteed may not exceed the lesser of—

“(i) 30 years and 32 days; or

“(ii) 90 percent of the useful life of any physical asset to be financed by such loan;

“(B) a loan made or guaranteed under this subsection may not be subordinated to another debt contracted by the borrower or to any other claims against the borrowers in the case of default;

“(C) a loan may not be guaranteed under this subsection unless the Secretary determines that the lender is responsible and that adequate provision is made for servicing the loan on reasonable terms and protecting the financial interest of the United States;

“(D) a loan may not be guaranteed under this subsection if—

“(i) the income from such loan is excluded from gross income for purposes of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or

“(ii) the guarantee provides significant collateral or security, as determined by the Secretary, for other obligations the income from which is so excluded;

“(E) any guarantee provided under this subsection shall be conclusive evidence that—

“(i) the guarantee has been properly obtained;

“(ii) the underlying loan qualified for such guarantee; and

“(iii) absent fraud or material misrepresentation by the holder, the guarantee is presumed to be valid, legal, and enforceable;

“(F) the Secretary shall prescribe explicit standards for use in periodically assessing the credit risk of new and existing direct loans or guaranteed loans;

“(G) the Secretary may not extend credit assistance unless the Secretary has determined that there is a reasonable assurance of repayment; and

“(H) new loan guarantees may not be committed except to the extent that appropriations of budget authority to cover their costs are made in advance, as required under section 504 of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (2 U.S.C. 661c).

“(5) PAYMENT OF LOSSES.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—If, as a result of a default by a borrower under a loan guaranteed under this subsection, after the holder has made such further collection efforts and instituted such enforcement proceedings as the Secretary may require, the Secretary determines that the holder has suffered a loss, the Secretary shall pay to such holder the percentage of such loss specified in the guarantee contract. Upon making any such payment, the Secretary shall be subrogated to all the rights of the recipient of the payment. The Secretary shall be entitled to recover from the borrower the amount of any payments made pursuant to any guarantee entered into under this section.

“(B) ENFORCEMENT OF RIGHTS.—The Attorney General shall take such action as may be appropriate to enforce any right accruing to the United States as a result of the issuance of any guarantee under this section.

“(C) FORBEARANCE.—Nothing in this section may be construed to preclude any forbearance for the benefit of the borrower which may be agreed upon by the parties to the guaranteed loan and approved by the Secretary, if budget authority for any resulting subsidy costs (as defined in section 502(5) of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990) is available.

“(D) MANAGEMENT OF PROPERTY.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law relating to the acquisition, handling, or disposal of property by the United States, the Secretary may complete, recondition, reconstruct, renovate, repair, maintain, operate, or sell any property acquired by the Secretary pursuant to this section.

“(6) REVIEW.—Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this section, the Comptroller General of the United States shall—

“(A) conduct a review of the subsidy estimates for the loan guarantees under this subsection; and

“(B) submit to Congress a report on the review conducted under this paragraph.

“(7) TERMINATION.—A loan may not be guaranteed under this subsection after September 30, 2015.

“(8) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are authorized to be appropriated—

“(A) $35,000,000 for the cost (as defined in section 502(5) of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990) of guaranteeing $500,000,000 in loans under this subsection; and

“(B) such sums as may be necessary for administrative expenses in fiscal year 2011 and thereafter.

“(c) National Academy of Sciences evaluation.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall enter into an agreement with the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy of the National Academy of Sciences under which the Board shall—

“(A) conduct an evaluation of the activities under this section; and

“(B) review and recommend best practices for the development of United States science parks, including metrics for their success.

“(2) REPORT.—Under the agreement described in paragraph (1), the Board shall submit a report to the Secretary that—

“(A) includes the Board’s evaluation of science park development under this section; and

“(B) may include such recommendations as the Board considers appropriate for additional activities to promote and facilitate the development of science parks in the United States.

“(d) Tri-Annual report.—Not later than March 31, 2014, and every third year thereafter, the Secretary shall submit a report to Congress that—

“(1) describes the activities under this section during the preceding 3 years;

“(2) includes any recommendations made by the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy under subsection (c)(2)(B) during such period; and

“(3) may include such recommendations for legislative or administrative action as the Secretary considers appropriate to further promote and facilitate the development of science parks in the United States.

“(e) Rulemaking.—Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this section, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations to carry out this section in accordance with Office of Management and Budget Circular A–129, entitled ‘Policies for Federal Credit Programs and Non-Tax Receivables’.”.