July 28, 2014 Capitol Update

In this issue:

 

SS&T MARKS UP H.R. 2996, THE REVITALIZE AMERICAN MANUFACTURING AND INNOVATION ACT OF 2013

The House Science, Space and Technology (SS&T) Committee on July 25th marked up a manager's amendment to H.R. 2996, the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013. The amendment was approved by a unanimous voice vote.

The legislation would establish a network of manufacturing innovation institutes with a $300 million budget, focusing on commercialization of innovative advanced manufacturing technologies. The original bill proposed to fund the innovation institutes at $600 million.

Under the amendment, for fiscal years 2015 through 2024, the institutes would be funded through the Department of Energy's advanced manufacturing research and development budget (for a total of no more than $250 million) and through the National Institute of Standards and Technology's industrial technical services account (at $5 million per year throughout the period). The bill would also authorize an additional $10 million for fiscal years 2015 through 2019 to fund regional innovation strategies and clusters.

The lower funding level is consistent with that contained in S. 1468, a companion measure approved by the Senate Commerce, Transportation and Science Committee in April 2013.

H.R. 2996 as introduced by be read at: http://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HR%202996.pdf

The manager's amendment may be reviewed at: http://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HR%202996.pdf

 

HOUSE PASSES ADDITIONAL SCIENCE LEGISLATION

On July 22nd, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5120 and H.R. 5035 by voice vote. H.R. 5120, the Department of Energy (DOE) Laboratory Modernization and Technology Transfer Act of 2014, would unify the management of the DOE’s science and energy programs under one Undersecretary for Science and Energy position and reform regulations at DOE’s National Labs to promote transfers of federal research into the commercialization process.

This legislation makes it easier for entrepreneurs and business leaders to harness federally funded research by setting up a new commercialization pilot program and by authorizing new public-private partnerships. Both initiatives are aimed at moving technologies out of the lab system and into the marketplace.

H.R. 5035, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Authorization Act of 2014, reauthorizes the agency through FY 2015 and includes updated language about the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership program.

To read H.R. 5120 and H.R. 5035, go to: http://thomas.loc.gov and search by bill number.

 

ENERGY INNOVATION REQUIRES PARTNERS IN INGENUITY: A REPORT FROM AIEC

The American Innovation Energy Council (AIEC) has released a report, “Energy Innovation Requires Partners in Ingenuity: A Report from AIEC,” which examines the federal government’s role in energy technology innovation. The case studies illustrate that public-private partnerships are recurring components in the successful
development and deployment of advanced energy technologies. They demonstrate that federal energy innovation investments have produced enormous benefits to the U.S.
economy and underscore AEIC’s support for increasing such investments going forward.

The government can play the role of catalyst to private-sector innovation—enabling the private sector to develop new technologies more rapidly than would otherwise occur. This is done by lowering risks of new technology to the private sector, such as seed grants, loans, and cost-sharing of demonstration projects; speeding diffusion of technical knowledge, such as through research partnerships; and standardizing information to help markets work better, such as through labeling and certification efforts.

The government can also play the role of an instigator—creating new economic possibilities for private-sector activity. This done by creating new knowledge that market participants lack incentives to pursue, such as through basic science and applied research, and driving demand for private-sector technology innovation, such as through direct procurement or performance standards.

The paper can be downloaded at: http://americanenergyinnovation.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/AEIC-Partners-in-Ingenuity-2014.pdf, and full text of the case studies can be accessed at: http://americanenergyinnovation.org/case-studies/

 

REPORT ANALYZES POSSIBILITY OF "3D PRINTING IN SPACE"

The National Research Council (NRC) recently published “3D Printing in Space,” a report that evaluates the prospects of in-space additive manufacturing. The report
examines the various technologies available and currently in development, and considers the possible impacts for crewed space operations and robotic spacecraft
operations. Ground-based additive manufacturing is being rapidly developed by industry, and “3D Printing in Space” discusses government-industry investments in technology development.

According to this report, the International Space Station provides an excellent opportunity for both civilian and military research on additive manufacturing technology. Additive manufacturing presents potential opportunities, both as a tool in a broad toolkit of options for space-based activities and as a potential paradigm-changing approach to designing hardware for in-space activities. This report makes recommendations for future research, suggests objectives for an additive manufacturing roadmap, and envisions opportunities for cooperation and joint development.

Additive manufacturing has the potential to positively affect human spaceflight operations by enabling the in-orbit manufacture of replacement parts and tools, which could reduce existing logistics requirements for the International Space Station and future long-duration human space missions. The benefits of in-space additive manufacturing for robotic spacecraft are far less clear, although this rapidly advancing technology can also potentially enable space-based construction of large structures and, perhaps someday, substantially in the future, entire spacecraft. Additive manufacturing can also help to reimagine a new space architecture that is not constrained by the design and manufacturing confines of gravity, current manufacturing processes, and launch-related structural stresses.

The specific benefits and potential scope of additive manufacturing remain undetermined. The realities of what can be accomplished today, using this technology on the ground, demonstrate the substantial gaps between the vision for additive manufacturing in space and the limitations of the technology and the progress that has to be made to develop it for space use.

To read the report on-line, visit http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=18871

 

EXTRAMURAL R&D FUNDING BY US-LOCATED BUSINESSES NEARED $30 BILLION IN 2011

A new report available from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Center of Science and Engineering Statistics found that in 2011, U.S.-located companies spent $29.6 billion for extramural (purchased and collaborative) research and development performed by domestic and overseas organizations. This amount includes contract or otherwise purchased R&D ($24 billion) and payments to R&D collaborators ($5.6 billion). Most of these extramural R&D expenditures involve domestic providers and partners.

The amount that U.S.-located companies pay to other U.S.-located organizations for extramural R&D has grown. In 2011, extramural R&D was more than 10 percent of the amount that companies based in the United States spent on their company-funded, company-performed U.S. R&D. Comparable estimates from the Survey of Industrial Research and Development put this ratio under four percent in 1991. The growth in the relative size of domestic extramural R&D in the business sector is the result of differing rates of growth in total R&D spending among industries and of changes in the importance of external partners within industries.

These and other findings are from a new report by the National Center of Science and Engineering Statistics: Extramural R&D Funding by U.S.-Located Businesses Nears $30 Billion in 2011. Read the report at: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf14314/

 

MADELYN CREEDON CONFIRMED AS PRINCIPAL DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR FOR NNSA

Madelyn Creedon was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, as the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Principal Deputy Administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

As NNSA’s Principal Deputy Administrator, Ms. Creedon will support NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz in the management and operation of the NNSA, as well as policy matters across the DOE and NNSA enterprise in support of President Obama’s nuclear security agenda.

Prior to her Senate confirmation, Ms. Creedon served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs at the Department of Defense (DoD), overseeing policy development and execution in the areas of countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, U.S. nuclear forces and missile defense, and DoD cybersecurity and space issues.  She was confirmed to serve in this position by the Senate in August 2011.

Previously, Ms. Creedon was counsel for the Democratic staff on the Senate Committee on Armed Services and was the staff lead for the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces as well as threat reduction and nuclear nonproliferation issues.  In 2000, she left the Armed Services Committee to become the Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs at the NNSA, and returned to the Committee in January 2001. Prior to joining the Armed Services Committee staff in March 1997, she was the Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy for National Security Programs at the DOE, beginning in October 1995.

Creedon is a graduate of St. Louis University School of Law.  Her undergraduate degree is in political science from the University of Evansville in Indiana.

SCICAST: A CROWDSOURCED FORECASTING PLATFORM FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The AAAS Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy has been helping George Mason University recruit scientists with a diverse set of expertise to assist in a science and technology forecasting project called SciCast. The purpose of this project, which is funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), is to determine whether crowdsourcing can be used to accurately predict the future of science and technology questions. These questions vary by discipline and focus area, and range from the more applied science and engineering advancements to the highly technical, basic science achievements.

As an affiliated organization to AAAS, ASME has been asked to help make this project successful by sharing information on SciCast with its members. By sharing this invitation, ASME members will have an opportunity to explore the SciCast site, register, answer questions, and join the SciCast community.  They can even submit their own questions, or request to join the select pool of experts who review the unpublished questions.

If you are interested in learning more about the project, please contact: https://scicast.org/?referral_id=AAAS#!/

Additional information is available at: http://newsdesk.gmu.edu/2014/01/scicast-crowdsources-forecasts-science-technology-events-innovations/

 

The articles contained in Capitol Update are not positions of ASME or any of its sub-entities, unless specifically noted as such. This publication is designed to inform ASME members about issues of concern being debated and discussed in the halls of congress, in the states and in the federal agencies.

 

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  • Melissa Carl covers public policy-related science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and diversity issues for ASME. She can be reached at carlm@asme.org
  • Paul Fakes covers public policy-related energy, standards and environmental issues for ASME. He can be reached at fakesp@asme.org
  • Roy Chrobocinski covers public policy-related research and development (R&D) and manufacturing issues for ASME. He can be reached at chrobocinski@asme.org