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H.R. 4906 (109th): 21st Century Innovation Act of 2006

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 8, 2006.

21st Century Innovation Act of 2006 - Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to direct the Secretary of Education to award scholarships to students who: (1) are enrolled in undergraduate programs concurrently offering degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics and elementary or secondary school teacher certification; and (2) agree to teach in such fields for at least five years. Awards matching grants to institutions of higher education to establish such programs.

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to: (1) state and local educational agencies to establish summer institutes offering elementary and secondary school science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teachers continuing education, and to train them to provide advanced courses; and (2) institutions of higher education offering part-time master's degree programs to such middle and secondary school teachers.

Augments the funding available for the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers program at designated federal agencies.

Directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish programs awarding undergraduate and graduate scholarships in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics on the basis of criteria to be established by the Secretary, but addressing areas of national need identified by program advisory bodies.

Creates a Presidential Innovation Award, periodically conferring a medal upon individuals who develop unique scientific or engineering ideas serving the national interest.

Requires the Office of Science and Technology Policy to establish a National Coordination Office for Research Infrastructure which shall prioritize funding provided to the NSF and the Department of Energy (DOE) under this Act for the construction and maintenance of higher education and federal research facilities.

Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to authorize the extended stay of aliens who obtain the equivalent of a doctorate in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or other fields deemed important to the national interest, and seek or secure employment in such fields.

Establishes the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) within the DOE to award competitive energy research and development grants and contracts to institutions of higher education, companies, or consortia of such entities, which may include federal laboratories, to reduce our dependence on energy imports by 50% over the next 10 years. Provides for the recoupment and redeployment of such funding.