Endless Frontier Act Introduced in House and Senate to Rename NSF and Establish a Directorate of Technology

Jun 1, 2020

by ASME.org

Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Todd Young (R-IN), and Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI), recently introduced bipartisan legislation to rename the National Science Foundation (NSF) the National Science and Technology Foundation. The Endless Frontier Act would also establish a Directorate of Technology, whose duties and functions would include overseeing key technology focus areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, automation, advanced manufacturing, advanced energy, and biotechnology—all key technology areas for ASME.

The bill would also establish a Regional Technology Hub Program to be administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to provide grants to consortia working in the same specified technology areas included as key focus areas under the new technology directorate. The legislation would fund the technology directorate at $2 billion initially and grow the funding to $35 billion over four years, and a total of $10 billion over four years to the Regional Technology Hub Program. The NSF has traditional focused on basic, fundamental scientific research, and an expansion to technology would change the overall scope of work the NSF funds.

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