Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House without amendment (07/22/2014)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

NIST Reauthorization Act of 2014 - (Sec. 2) Reauthorizes the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) through FY2015.

(Sec. 3) Amends the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to authorize the Director of the NIST to: (1) serve as the President's principal advisor on standards policy pertaining to technological competitiveness and innovation ability, (2) facilitate standards-related information sharing and cooperation between federal agencies, (3) support scientific and technical conferences, and (4) perform pre-competitive measurement research with institutions of higher education and industry.

(Sec. 4) Revises the membership of the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology, including by requiring that at least two-thirds of members be from U.S. industry. Authorizes the Committee to consult with the National Research Council (NRC) in making recommendations regarding general policy for NIST.

Removes the requirement that the Technology Innovation Program be included in the Committee's annual reports on policy issues or matters affecting NIST.

(Sec. 5) Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to undertake activities to protect NIST buildings and other plant facilities, equipment, and property and persons located in them or associated with them.

(Sec. 6) Revises requirements for research fellowships. Authorizes the Director to support, promote, and coordinate activities and efforts to enhance awareness and understanding of measurement sciences, standards, and technology. Requires the Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program to include no fewer than 20 fellows per fiscal year (currently, no fewer than 20 nor more than 120 new fellows per fiscal year). Removes provisions for the separate manufacturing fellowship and teacher science and technology enhancement programs.

(Sec. 7) Requires the three-year programmatic planning document for NIST to also describe how the Director is addressing recommendations from the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology.

(Sec. 8) Requires the Director to contract with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a review of NIST laboratory programs.

Directs NIST to contract with the NRC to assess the technical quality and impact of the work conducted at NIST laboratories. (Currently, NIST is authorized to contract with the NRC for advice and studies to serve industry and science.)

Allows NIST to also contract with the NRC to conduct additional assessments of NIST programs and projects that involve collaboration across NIST laboratories and centers and assessments of selected topics.

(Sec. 9) Makes revisions to the program known as the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Adds as a purpose of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Centers the transfer of best business practices.

Includes as an objective of the Centers: (1) the provision of area career and technical education schools of information about the job skills needed in small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses in the regions they serve (currently provided only to community colleges); and (2) the promotion and expansion of certification systems offered through industry, associations, and local colleges.

Requires the activities of the Centers to include the facilitation of collaborations and partnerships between small and medium-sized manufacturing companies and community colleges and area career and technical education schools to help them better understand the specific needs of manufacturers and to help manufacturers better understand the skill sets that students learn in the programs offered by those institutions.

Allows the Secretary to provide financial support to any Center created under the Partnership (currently, limited to six years).

Instructs the Secretary to implement, review, and update regulations related to the Partnership at least once every three years.

Revises cost-sharing requirements for the receipt by an applicant of financial assistance under the Partnership.

Bars the Secretary from providing funding to a Center unless it has received a positive evaluation.

Requires a Center to undergo an independent review in its eighth year of operation.

Requires the Director, if a recipient of a Center award has received financial assistance for 10 consecutive years, to conduct a new competition to select an operator for the Center consistent with the plan required by this Act. Makes incumbent Center operators in good standing eligible to compete for the new award.

Requires the Director to: (1) transmit to Congress a plan for how NIST will conduct reviews, assessments, and reapplication competitions; and (2) contract with an independent organization to assess the implementation of the reapplication competition process.

Requires the Director to report to Congress information on the first and second years of operations for Centers operating from new competitions or recompetition as compared to longstanding Centers.

Applies the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to confidential information obtained by the government on the business operation of any participant in a Partnership program or of a client of a Center and trade secrets possessed by any client of a Center.

Requires each Center's advisory boards to institute a conflict of interest policy that ensures representation of local small and medium-sized manufacturers in the Center's region. Prohibits board members from serving or providing services to the Center or serving on more than one Center's oversight board simultaneously.

Requires the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Board to consist of no fewer than 10 members (currently, 10 members), at least one of whom represents a community college.

Requires the Director, under the competitive grant program, to select proposals that will promote the transfer and commercialization of research and technology from institutions of higher education, national laboratories, and nonprofit research institutes.

(Sec. 10) Eliminates requirements for annual reports on enterprise integration standardization and implementation activities and on the Technology Innovation Program.

(Sec. 11) Amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to remove the 75% limitation on the total amount of certain grants and cooperative agreements to assist activities consistent with such Act, including activities performed by individuals.

(Sec. 12) Removes the National Security Agency (NSA) from the list of agencies that NIST must consult in developing standards and guidelines for information systems.