Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 114-329 (01/06/2017)

(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the House on December 16, 2016. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

American Innovation and Competitiveness Act

TITLE I--MAXIMIZING BASIC RESEARCH

(Sec. 101) This bill requires the National Science Foundation (NSF) to maintain the intellectual merit and broader impacts criteria as the basis for evaluating grant proposals in the merit review process.

(Sec. 102) The NSF shall issue and periodically update policy guidance for both NSF staff and other NSF merit review process participants on the importance of transparency and accountability to the outcomes made through the merit review process.

(Sec. 103) The bill renames the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research as the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and revises program requirements.

(Sec. 104) The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) shall: (1) research information systems for future cybersecurity needs; and (2) develop a process to research and identify, or if necessary, develop cryptography standards and guidelines for future cybersecurity needs, including quantum-resistant cryptography standards.

The bill amends the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to authorize NIST to research the security of computers, computer networks, and computer data storage used in voting systems.

Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Modernization Act of 2016

(Sec. 105) The bill renames the National High Performance Computing Program as the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program and revises program requirements.

(Sec. 106) The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) shall continue to coordinate federal research in high-energy physics, radiation biology, and fusion energy sciences.

(Sec. 107) NIST shall implement a comprehensive strategic plan for laboratory programs expanding interactions with academia, international researchers, and industry, and commercial and industrial applications.

(Sec. 108) The bill amends the Standard Reference Data Act to modify the definition of "standard reference data."

(Sec. 109) The NSF shall:

  • evaluate the existing and future needs, across all NSF-supported disciplines, for mid-scale projects;
  • strengthen oversight and accountability over the full life-cycle of major multi-user research facility projects;
  • update conflicts of interest policy and procedure; and
  • continue to review its efforts to sustain scientific efforts in the face of logistical challenges for the U.S. Antarctic Program.

(Sec. 113) The Department of Commerce Office of Security shall directly manage NIST's law enforcement and site security programs through an assigned Director of Security for NIST.

(Sec. 114) The NSF may: (1) continue to carry out the Sustainable Chemistry Basic Research program authorized under the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2010; and (2) revise regulations to ensure that its research does not contain any falsification, fabrication, or plagiarism.

(Sec. 116) The NSF shall enter into an agreement with the National Research Council to: (1) assess research and data reproductibility and replicability issues in interdisciplinary research, and (2) make recommendations for improving rigor and transparency in scientific research.

(Sec. 117) The NSF shall support research related to the interagency Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative.

TITLE II--ADMINISTRATIVE AND REGULATORY BURDEN REDUCTION

Research and Development Efficiency Act

(Sec. 201) The Office of Management and Budget shall establish an interagency working group to reduce administrative burdens of federally funded researchers while protecting the public's interest in the transparency of, and accountability for, federally funded activities.

The working group shall: (1) establish a centralized database for documents relating to researchers, (2) establish a central repository for all assurances required for federal research grants, and (3) conduct a comprehensive review of the mandated progress reports for federally funded research.

International Science and Technology Cooperation Act of 2016

(Sec. 208) The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) shall establish a body under the NSTC to identify and coordinate international science and technology cooperation in order to strengthen U.S. science and technology enterprise, improve economic and national security, and support U.S. foreign policy goals.

TITLE III--SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATH EDUCATION

(Sec. 303) The NSF, the Department of Education, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shall establish the STEM Education Advisory Panel to advise the NSTC Committee on STEM Education on matters related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

(Sec. 305) The NSF shall award grants to increase the participation of underrepresented populations in STEM fields.

(Sec. 306) The National Institute of Standards and Technology Act is amended to revise requirements for NIST's post-doctoral fellowship program.

(Sec. 307) The NSF shall continue to administer awards on behalf of OSTP to recognize outstanding mentoring in STEM fields and provide Congress with a list of award recipients.

(Sec. 308) The OSTP shall establish an interagency working group to summarize available research and best practices on how to promote diversity and inclusions in STEM fields, and examine whether barriers exist to promoting diversity and inclusion within federal agencies employing scientists and engineers.

(Sec. 309) Each federal agency shall recommend to the President how it could expand research opportunities for undergraduate students attending institutions of higher education.

(Sec. 310) The NSF shall award grants for research on computer science education and computational thinking.

(Sec. 311) The bill amends the STEM Education Act of 2015 to allow the use of funds to foster on-going partnerships between institutions involved in informal STEM learning, institutions of higher education, and education research centers.

(Sec. 312) Commerce shall continue to research the value to businesses of utilizing apprenticeship programs and shall disseminate its findings to businesses and other relevant stakeholders. It may collaborate with Labor to study approaches for reducing the cost of creating new apprenticehip programs, particularly for small businesses.

The bill amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to carry out a grant program to identify the need for skilled STEM workers and to expand STEM apprenticeship programs.

(Sec. 313) The bill expands the reporting requirement of the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering with respect to NSF participation in activities of institutions serving populations that are underrepresented in STEM disciplines.

(Sec. 314) The bill amends the America COMPETES Act to enhance NOAA science education programs and programs at Hispanic-serving institutions offering STEM education.

TITLE IV--LEVERAGING THE PRIVATE SECTOR

Science Prize Competition Act

(Sec. 401) The bill amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to revise requirements regarding science prize competitions.

Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Act

(Sec. 402) Federal science agencies may use crowdsourcing and voluntary, collaborative citizen science to advance their missions.

TITLE V--MANUFACTURING

Manufacturing Extension Partnership Improvement Act

(Sec. 501) The National Institute of Standards and Technology Act is amended to revise requirements for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

TITLE VI--INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

(Sec. 601) The NSF shall award grants for Innovation Corps entrepreneurship and commercialization education, training, and mentoring.

United States Chief Technology Officer Act

(Sec. 604) The President may designate one of the Associate Directors of the OSTP as the U.S. Chief Technology Officer.

(Sec. 605) The OSTP shall arrange with the National Research Council to study technologies employed at institutions of higher education to provide notifications to students, faculty, and other personnel during emergencies.