Text: S.1705 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (11/14/2013)


113th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 1705

To provide a Federal charter for the National Fab Lab Network, a national network of local digital fabrication facilities providing community access to advanced manufacturing tools for learning skills, developing inventions, creating businesses, and producing personalized products.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
November 14, 2013

Mr. Durbin (for himself, Mrs. Gillibrand, and Mr. Markey) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To provide a Federal charter for the National Fab Lab Network, a national network of local digital fabrication facilities providing community access to advanced manufacturing tools for learning skills, developing inventions, creating businesses, and producing personalized products.

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 “National Fab Lab Network Act of 2013”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress finds the following:

(1) Scientific discoveries and technical innovations are critical to the economic and national security of the United States.

(2) Maintaining the leadership of the United States in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics will require a diverse population with the skills, interest, and access to tools required to advance these fields.

(3) Just as earlier digital revolutions in communications and computation provided individuals with the Internet and personal computers, a digital revolution in fabrication will allow anyone to make almost anything, anywhere.

(4) Fab labs like the Center for Bits and Atoms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology provide a model for a new kind of national laboratory that links local facilities for advanced manufacturing to expand access and empower communities.

(5) A coordinated national public-private partnership will be the most effective way to accelerate the provision of this infrastructure for learning skills, developing inventions, creating businesses, and producing personalized products.

SEC. 3. Establishment of National Fab Lab Network.

(a) Definitions.—In this section—

(1) the term “fab lab” means a facility—

(A) equipped with an integrated suite of fabrication tools to convert digital designs into functional physical things and scanning tools to convert physical things into digital designs; and

(B) available for a range of individual and collaborative educational, commercial, creative, and social purposes, based on guidelines established by the NFLN relating to sustainable operation; and

(2) the term “NFLN” means the National Fab Lab Network.

(b) Federal charter.—The National Fab Lab Network is a federally charted nonprofit corporation, which shall facilitate the creation of a national network of local fab labs and serve as a resource to assist stakeholders with the effective operation of fab labs.

(c) Membership and organization.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Eligibility for membership in the NFLN and the rights and privileges of members shall be as provided in the constitution and bylaws of the NFLN. The Board of Directors, officers, and other employees of the NFLN, and their powers and duties, shall be provided in the bylaws of the NFLN.

(2) BOARD OF DIRECTORS.—The Board of Directors of the NFLN shall include—

(A) the Director of the Fab Foundation;

(B) members of the manufacturing sector and entrepreneurial community; and

(C) leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

(3) COORDINATION.—When appropriate, the NFLN should work with Manufacturing Extension Partnership Centers of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Small Business Administration, and other agencies of the Federal Government to provide additional resources to fab lab users.

(d) Functions.—The NFLN shall—

(1) serve as the coordinating body for the creation of a national network of local fab labs in the United States;

(2) provide a first point of contact for organizations and communities seeking to create fab labs, providing information, assessing suitability, advising on the lab lifecycle, and maintaining descriptions of prospective and operating sites;

(3) link funders and sites with operational entities that can source and install fab labs, provide training, assist with operations, account for spending, and assess impact;

(4) perform outreach for individuals and communities on the benefits available through the NFLN;

(5) facilitate use of the NFLN in synergistic programs, such as workforce training, job creation, research broader impacts, and the production of civic infrastructure; and

(6) offer transparency in the management, governance, and operation of the NFLN.

(e) Purposes.—In carrying out its functions, the NFLN's purposes and goals shall be to—

(1) create a national network of connected local fab labs to empower individuals and communities in the United States; and

(2) foster the use of distributed digital fabrication tools to promote science, technology, engineering and math skills, increase invention and innovation, create businesses and jobs, and fulfill needs.

(f) Funding.—The NFLN may accept gifts from private individuals, corporations, government agencies, or other organizations.