Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 1756 (rs) To enhance the ability of the National Laboratories to meet Department of Energy missions, and for other purposes. [Reported in Senate] ...

S. 1756 (rs) To enhance the ability of the National Laboratories to meet Department of Energy missions, and for other purposes. [Reported in Senate] ...


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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 1756


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            October 10, 2000

Referred to the Committee on Science, and in addition to the Committee 
 on Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the 
  Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall 
           within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
To enhance the ability of the National Laboratories to meet Department 
              of Energy missions, and for other purposes.

    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 Laboratories Partnership 
Improvement Act of 2000''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    For purposes of this Act--
            (1) the term ``Department'' means the Department of Energy;
            (2) the term ``departmental mission'' means any of the 
        functions vested in the Secretary of Energy by the Department 
        of Energy Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.) or other 
        law;
            (3) the term ``institution of higher education'' has the 
        meaning given such term in section 1201(a) of the Higher 
        Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1141(a));
            (4) the term ``National Laboratory'' means any of the 
        following institutions owned by the Department of Energy--
                    (A) Argonne National Laboratory;
                    (B) Brookhaven National Laboratory;
                    (C) Idaho National Engineering and Environmental 
                Laboratory;
                    (D) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory;
                    (E) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory;
                    (F) Los Alamos National Laboratory;
                    (G) National Renewable Energy Laboratory;
                    (H) Oak Ridge National Laboratory;
                    (I) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; or
                    (J) Sandia National Laboratory;
            (5) the term ``facility'' means any of the following 
        institutions owned by the Department of Energy--
                    (A) Ames Laboratory;
                    (B) East Tennessee Technology Park;
                    (C) Environmental Measurement Laboratory;
                    (D) Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory;
                    (E) Kansas City Plant;
                    (F) National Energy Technology Laboratory;
                    (G) Nevada Test Site;
                    (H) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory;
                    (I) Savannah River Technology Center;
                    (J) Stanford Linear Accelerator Center;
                    (K) Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility;
                    (L) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant;
                    (M) Y-12 facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory; 
                or
                    (N) other similar organization of the Department 
                designated by the Secretary that engages in technology 
                transfer, partnering, or licensing activities;
            (6) the term ``nonprofit institution'' has the meaning 
        given such term in section 4 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology 
        Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3703(5));
            (7) the term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of Energy;
            (8) the term ``small business concern'' has the meaning 
        given such term in section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 
        U.S.C. 632);
            (9) the term ``technology-related business concern'' means 
        a for-profit corporation, company, association, firm, 
        partnership, or small business concern that--
                    (A) conducts scientific or engineering research,
                    (B) develops new technologies,
                    (C) manufacturers products based on new 
                technologies, or
                    (D) performs technological services;
            (10) the term ``technology cluster'' means a concentration 
        of--
                    (A) technology-related business concerns;
                    (B) institutions of higher education; or
                    (C) other nonprofit institutions,
        that reinforce each other's performance through formal or 
        informal relationships;
            (11) the term ``socially and economically disadvantaged 
        small business concerns'' has the meaning given such term in 
        section 8(a)(4) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 
        637(a)(4)); and
            (12) the term ``NNSA'' means the National Nuclear Security 
        Administration established by title XXXII of the National 
        Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (Public Law 106-
        65).

SEC. 3. TECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE PILOT PROGRAM.

    (a) Establishment.--The Secretary, through the appropriate 
officials of the Department, shall establish a Technology 
Infrastructure Pilot Program in accordance with this section.
    (b) Purpose.--The purpose of the program shall be to improve the 
ability of National Laboratories or facilities to support departmental 
missions by--
            (1) stimulating the development of technology clusters that 
        can support the missions of the National Laboratories or 
        facilities;
            (2) improving the ability of National Laboratories or 
        facilities to leverage and benefit from commercial research, 
        technology, products, processes, and services; and
            (3) encouraging the exchange of scientific and 
        technological expertise between National Laboratories or 
        facilities and--
                    (A) institutions of higher education,
                    (B) technology-related business concerns,
                    (C) nonprofit institutions, and
                    (D) agencies of State, tribal, or local 
                governments,
        that can support the missions of the National Laboratories and 
        facilities.
    (c) Pilot Program.--In each of the first three fiscal years after 
the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary may provide no 
more than $10,000,000, divided equally, among no more than ten National 
Laboratories or facilities selected by the Secretary to conduct 
Technology Infrastructure Program Pilot Programs.
    (d) Projects.--The Secretary shall authorize the Director of each 
National Laboratory or facility designated under subsection (c) to 
implement the Technology Infrastructure Pilot Program at such National 
Laboratory or facility through projects that meet the requirements of 
subsections (e) and (f).
    (e) Program Requirements.--Each project funded under this section 
shall meet the following requirements:
            (1) Minimum participants.--Each project shall at a minimum 
        include--
                    (A) a National Laboratory or facility; and
                    (B) one of the following entities--
                            (i) a business,
                            (ii) an institution of higher education,
                            (iii) a nonprofit institution, or
                            (iv) an agency of a State, local, or tribal 
                        government.
            (2) Cost sharing.--
                    (A) Minimum amount.--Not less than 50 percent of 
                the costs of each project funded under this section 
                shall be provided from non-Federal sources.
                    (B) Qualified funding and resources.--
                            (i) The calculation of costs paid by the 
                        non-Federal sources to a project shall include 
                        cash, personnel, services, equipment, and other 
                        resources expended on the project.
                            (ii) Independent research and development 
                        expenses of government contractors that qualify 
                        for reimbursement under section 31-205-18(e) of 
                        the Federal Acquisition Regulations issued 
                        pursuant to section 25(c)(1) of the Office of 
                        Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 
                        421(c)(1)) may be credited towards costs paid 
                        by non-Federal sources to a project, if the 
                        expenses meet the other requirements of this 
                        section.
                            (iii) No funds or other resources expended 
                        either before the start of a project under this 
                        section or outside the project's scope of work 
                        shall be credited toward the costs paid by the 
                        non-Federal sources to the project.
            (3) Competitive selection.--All projects where a party 
        other than the Department or a National Laboratory or facility 
        receives funding under this section shall, to the extent 
        practicable, be competitively selected by the National 
        Laboratory or facility using procedures determined to be 
        appropriate by the Secretary or his designee.
            (4) Accounting standards.--Any participant receiving 
        funding under this section, other than a National Laboratory or 
        facility, may use generally accepted accounting principles for 
        maintaining accounts, books, and records relating to the 
        project.
            (5) Limitations.--No Federal funds shall be made available 
        under this section for--
                    (A) construction; or
                    (B) any project for more than five years.
    (f) Selection Criteria.--
            (1) Threshold funding criteria.--The Secretary shall 
        authorize the provision of Federal funds for projects under 
        this section only when the Director of the National Laboratory 
        or facility managing such a project determines that the project 
        is likely to improve the participating National Laboratory or 
        facility's ability to achieve technical success in meeting 
        departmental missions.
            (2) Additional criteria.--The Secretary shall also require 
        the Director of the National Laboratory or facility managing a 
        project under this section to consider the following criteria 
        in selecting a project to receive Federal funds--
                    (A) the potential of the project to succeed, based 
                on its technical merit, team members, management 
                approach, resources, and project plan;
                    (B) the potential of the project to promote the 
                development of a commercially sustainable technology 
                cluster, one that will derive most of the demand for 
                its products or services from the private sector, that 
                can support the missions of the participating National 
                Laboratory or facility;
                    (C) the potential of the project to promote the use 
                of commercial research, technology, products, 
                processes, and services by the participating National 
                Laboratory or facility to achieve its departmental 
                mission or the commercial development of technological 
                innovations made at the participating National 
                Laboratory or facility;
                    (D) the commitment shown by non-Federal 
                organizations to the project, based primarily on the 
                nature and amount of the financial and other resources 
                they will risk on the project;
                    (E) the extent to which the project involves a wide 
                variety and number of institutions of higher education, 
                nonprofit institutions, and technology-related business 
                concerns that can support the missions of the 
                participating National Laboratory or facility and that 
                will make substantive contributions to achieving the 
                goals of the project;
                    (F) the extent of participation in the project by 
                agencies of State, tribal, or local governments that 
                will make substantive contributions to achieving the 
                goals of the project; and
                    (G) the extent to which the project focuses on 
                promoting the development of technology-related 
                business concerns that are small business concerns or 
                involves such small business concerns substantively in 
                the project.
            (3) Savings clause.--Nothing in this subsection shall limit 
        the Secretary from requiring the consideration of other 
        criteria, as appropriate, in determining whether projects 
        should be funded under this section.
    (g) Report to Congress on Full Implementation.--Not later than 120 
days after the start of the third fiscal year after the date of 
enactment of this section, the Secretary shall report to Congress on 
whether the Technology Infrastructure Program should be continued 
beyond the pilot stage, and, if so, how the fully implemented program 
should be managed. This report shall take into consideration the 
results of the pilot program to date and the views of the relevant 
Directors of the National laboratories and facilities. The report shall 
include any proposals for legislation considered necessary by the 
Secretary to fully implement the program.

SEC. 4. SMALL BUSINESS ADVOCACY AND ASSISTANCE.

    (a) Advocacy Function.--The Secretary shall direct the Director of 
each National Laboratory, and may direct the Director of each facility 
the Secretary determines to be appropriate, to establish a small 
business advocacy function that is organizationally independent of the 
procurement function at the National Laboratory or facility. The person 
or office vested with the small business advocacy function shall--
            (1) work to increase the participation of small business 
        concerns, including socially and economically disadvantaged 
        small business concerns, in procurements, collaborative 
        research, technology licensing, and technology transfer 
        activities conducted by the National Laboratory or facility;
            (2) report to the Director of the National Laboratory or 
        facility on the actual participation of small business concerns 
        in procurements and collaborative research along with 
        recommendations, if appropriate, on how to improve 
        participation;
            (3) make available to small business concerns training, 
        mentoring, and clear, up-to-date information on how to 
        participate in the procurements and collaborative research, 
        including how to submit effective proposals;
            (4) increase the awareness inside the National Laboratory 
        or facility of the capabilities and opportunities presented by 
        small business concerns; and
            (5) establish guidelines for the program under subsection 
        (b) and report on the effectiveness of such program to the 
        Director of the National Laboratory or facility.
    (b) Establishment of Small Business Assistance Program.--The 
Secretary shall direct the Director of each National Laboratory, and 
may direct the Director of each facility the Secretary determines to be 
appropriate, to establish a program to provide small business 
concerns--
            (1) assistance directed at making them more effective and 
        efficient subcontractors or suppliers to the National 
        Laboratory or facility; or
            (2) general technical assistance, the cost of which shall 
        not exceed $10,000 per instance of assistance, to improve the 
        small business concern's products or services.
    (c) Use of Funds.--None of the funds expended under subsection (b) 
may be used for direct grants to the small business concerns.

SEC. 5. TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIPS OMBUDSMAN.

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