06.28.16

**MEDIA ADVISORY** Gardner’s American Innovation and Competitiveness Act to Receive Committee Markup Tomorrow

Washington, DC The United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a markup of S. 3084, the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, a bill authored by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Gary Peters (D-MI), on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.

WHAT: Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Markup of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act

WHEN: Wednesday, June 29th at 10:00 AM EST.

                                                          

WHERE: Senate Russell 253

S. 3084 most directly affects programs within the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Last July, Gardner and Peters kicked off efforts to build a consensus way forward for federal research policies. Their competitiveness working group held three roundtables with research community stakeholders and collected hundreds of submissions and comments sent to SciencePolicy@commerce.senate.gov to inform the group’s work.

In May, the Commerce Committee held a formal hearing with research community witnesses who praised the committee for its efforts to build a bipartisan consensus. Said former National Science Board official Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier in hearing testimony:

“This committee has already addressed one of the greatest long-term threats to American innovation: You’ve made science bipartisan again, countering rhetoric that has at times made the research community feel under siege.”

The bipartisan bill was introduced on June 23, 2016. A substitute amendment that includes a four percent increase in National Science Foundation (NSF) and NIST authorization levels for FY 2018 over FY 2017 in addition to technical corrections to the bill following feedback from various stakeholder groups followed.

Highlights of S. 3084, the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act:

Maximizing Basic Research

  • Peer review – Reaffirms the NSF’s merit-based peer review process for determining grants.
  • Broadening research opportunities – Updates and renames NSF’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) for underutilized regions to reflect its established record.
  • Cybersecurity research – Directs research to help better protect computer systems from cyber threats.
  • - Transparency and accountability – Codifies reforms to increase transparency and accountability in the National Science Foundation (NSF) grantmaking process.
  • Oversight implementation – Requires NSF to address concerns about waste and abuse by improving oversight of large research facility construction, updates a conflicts of interest policy, and reforms management of the Antarctic research program. 

Reducing Regulatory Burdens

  • Interagency working group – Establishes an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and OSTP-led interagency working group to reduce administrative burdens on federally-funded researchers.
  • Obsolete reporting requirements – Repeals obsolete federal agency reporting requirements as well as previous authorizations for programs that have not been implemented.

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Education

  • Outside advisory panel – Authorizes a STEM education advisory panel of outside experts to help guide federal STEM education program decision making.
  • Expands opportunities for women – Expands NSF grant programs to increase participation and expand STEM opportunities to women and other under-represented groups.

Manufacturing, Commercialization, and Leveraging the Private Sector

  • Crowdsourcing Science – Expands opportunities for crowdsourcing research input and citizen science participation by organizations and individuals.
  • Manufacturing – Updates NIST’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program for small and medium sized businesses by adjusting the federal cost-share requirement and implementing new accountability and oversight requirements.
  • Promoting entrepreneurship – Authorizes and expands NSF’s Innovation Corps program to promote entrepreneurship and commercialization education, training, and mentoring of federally-funded researchers.
  • Commercialization grants – Authorizes and expands grants to promote the commercialization of federally-funded research.

                              

###

 

Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.

354 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

(202) 224-5941