H.R. 6303 (112th): Global Science Program for Security, Competitiveness, and Diplomacy Act of 2012

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Aug 02, 2012 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6303

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

August 2, 2012

(for himself, Mr. Moran, Mr. Holt, and Mr. Lipinski) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, 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

A BILL

To establish the Global Science Program for Security, Competitiveness, and Diplomacy, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Global Science Program for Security, Competitiveness, and Diplomacy Act of 2012.

2.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

International scientific collaboration promotes the national security and economic competitiveness of the United States. It is therefore a key foreign policy priority of Congress to support such collaboration.

(2)

During the Cold War, scientific collaboration bolstered relationships with United States allies and provided helpful engagement with adversaries.

(3)

International scientific collaboration today helps the United States find technical solutions to key global challenges, promotes economic development at home and abroad, improves bilateral relationships, leverages the capabilities of foreign scientists and engineers, creates technology that improves quality of life, promotes United States values, catalyzes domestic and international job creation, creates international markets for United States goods and services, and enhances the reputation of the United States in the world.

(4)

Forging international networks with the best individuals and institutions abroad is essential to advancing long-term United States economic interests. Enhancing international technology-based entrepreneurship cultivates greater prosperity for the United States by bringing the most promising international technologies to the attention of the United States business community, empowers entrepreneurs abroad to apply technology that solves local and global problems, and addresses economic conditions that give rise to global political and economic instability.

(5)

Simultaneously, it is of the highest priority for United States national security to ensure that scientists who have been engaged in weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related research and engineering are encouraged and supported, in partnership with foreign governments, to engage in productive civil initiatives. This collaboration and other international scientific partnerships can be applied directly to solving pressing problems of global security, including global pandemics and climate change.

(6)

Ensuring long-term stability and prosperity in countries vulnerable to terrorist influence requires promoting effective economic development and building the capacity of foreign partners to address conditions that give rise to terrorism. International scientific collaboration provides a means to advance these objectives.

(7)

In an era where international skepticism about United States foreign policy abounds, civil society—including scientists and engineers—plays a critical role in advancing the foreign policy interests of the United States via engagement with their counterparts abroad. Among foreign scientists and engineers, the United States remains the most attractive destination in the world for graduate education, starting a technology-based business, and career-long collaboration.

(8)

Engaging women in the scientific enterprise is beneficial to the well-being of women and girls, as well as to global stability and prosperity. Improving access to education and science opportunities for women and girls advances their economic viability, along with that of their families and broader communities. Moreover, the scientific field thrives on exchanges of a broad range of ideas. Including female voices, and those of all minorities, in scientific dialogue leads to more significant discoveries and creative solutions to local and global challenges.

(9)

There are a range of activities, such as collaborative research and exchange programs, best suited to non-government organizations, where independence from the United States Government provides greater flexibility, agility, and, in some cases, credibility, with foreign scientists.

(10)

United States scientists, engineers, and innovators are an underutilized asset in efforts to advance United States diplomatic objectives; facilitating contact between such individuals and foreign populations of interest will advance overall United States foreign policy objectives.

3.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Eligible country

The term eligible country means—

(A)

a country classified by the World Bank as either lower-middle-income or low-income economies;

(B)

a country located in the Middle East;

(C)

a country with a majority population of Muslims;

(D)

a country located in sub-Saharan Africa;

(E)

a country visited by a scientific envoy under section 11; or

(F)

any other country as determined by the Secretary of State.

(2)

Organization

The term organization means an educational institution, corporation, partnership, firm, or entity exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and described in section 501(c)(3) of such Code.

4.

Global Science Program for Security, Competitiveness, and Diplomacy

(a)

Authorization

The Secretary of State is authorized to establish a program to be known as the Global Science Program for Security, Competitiveness, and Diplomacy (referred to in this section and sections 5, 6, and 7 as the Program) in accordance with this section and sections 5 and 6.

(b)

Activities supported

The Program is authorized to carry out, through the provision of grants, the following activities:

(1)

Collaborative research

(A)

In general

Establish global, regional, or country-specific research competitions that will undertake the following:

(i)

Address global challenges such as ocean acidification, nonproliferation, multiple drug resistant diseases, water-borne diseases, development of sustainable renewable energy resources, sanitation, food shortage, and water resources.

(ii)

Engage former WMD scientists to assist in their transition to peaceful, civilian research.

(iii)

Provide incentives for United States businesses to undertake programs employing such scientists for peaceful purposes.

(iv)

Foster stronger partnerships and relations between United States and foreign universities in science and technology.

(B)

Activities

Such global research competitions are authorized to include—

(i)

grants for not more than five years of collaborative research and development projects between United States scientists and engineers and scientists and engineers from eligible countries; and

(ii)

grants to enhance existing United States-based research programs by adding an international partner from an eligible country.

(2)

Institutional capacity building

(A)

Goals

The goals of such grants shall be to—

(i)

strengthen the research infrastructure and science and engineering curricula of institutes of higher learning in eligible countries;

(ii)

engage foreign students early in their careers with United States scientists and engineers in order to bring such students into the global sphere of science and foster critical thinking; and

(iii)

encourage and expand exchanges between students and faculty from eligible countries and students and faculty from the United States.

(B)

Restrictions

The following restrictions shall apply to the Program:

(i)

Funds may not be used for construction of facilities.

(ii)

No eligible country may receive more than 35 percent of the funds authorized to be appropriated for the Program for any fiscal year.

(C)

Activities

Such grants may include—

(i)

establishing research and education centers at institutes of higher learning in eligible countries to carry out the purposes of this Act; and

(ii)

providing equipment, training, and professional skills development.

(3)

Nonproliferation of WMD programs

(A)

In general

Conduct research and training programs that—

(i)

engage scientists and engineers who might otherwise be exploited to participate in illicit nuclear programs;

(ii)

help prevent nuclear and WMD proliferation;

(iii)

encourage foreign scientists and engineers, in collaboration with United States partners, to develop technologies and methods to combat WMD terrorism; or

(iv)

provide training in safe laboratory practices and conditions for civilian researchers working with potentially dangerous pathogens and chemicals to ensure that such pathogens and chemicals do not fall into the hands of terrorists or rogue states, that such practices are fostering safe working conditions for civilian researchers, and that the potential is strictly minimized for accidental release into local populations of such pathogens and chemicals.

(B)

Activities

Such research and training programs may include—

(i)

collaborative research competitions that would provide research grants to foreign scientists and engineers with WMD experience or who could be targeted to participate in a WMD or nuclear weapons program, and United States scientists and engineers;

(ii)

research and training programs for personnel of eligible countries who will be implementing nuclear cooperation agreements with the United States or otherwise participating in nuclear programs; and

(iii)

training programs in safe laboratory practices and conditions for civilian researchers working with potentially dangerous pathogens and chemicals.

(4)

Global virtual science library

To make grants to organizations that provide online access at little or no cost for scientists and engineers in eligible countries to worldwide science journals.

(c)

Certain requirements

Grants awarded pursuant to subsection (b) (except for grants awarded pursuant to paragraph (3) of such subsection) shall be competitive, peer-reviewed, and merit-based.

(d)

Additional funding

In applying for a grant, an organization shall demonstrate how it will seek, to the maximum extent possible, additional funding from partner organizations, foreign governments, private businesses, and other entities, ideally to the level of a full match.

5.

Management

(a)

Policy

(1)

In general

The Secretary of State is authorized to promulgate guidelines for review of grant applications to the Program.

(2)

Requirements

Guidelines promulgated under this subsection shall address, at a minimum, the following:

(A)

Criteria by which grants shall be selected, including a description of diplomatic objectives of the Program.

(B)

Policies to ensure that grants are in furtherance of United States diplomatic objectives.

(C)

The countries and regions to participate in the Program.

(b)

Implementation

(1)

Secretary of State

The Secretary of State is authorized to—

(A)

subject to the guidelines promulgated pursuant to subsection (a) and based on the recommendations forwarded to the Secretary of State by the Director of the National Science Foundation pursuant to paragraph (2)(C), make final determinations on the award of grants;

(B)

administer grants on behalf of the Program to foreign organizations collaborating with organizations domiciled in the United States in accordance with the terms of this Act;

(C)

coordinate with the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Director of the National Science Foundation to administer and implement the Program, in accordance with the guidelines promulgated pursuant to subsection (a); and

(D)

develop, review, make final determinations, award, and administer grants for Program activities to carry out section 4(b)(3), which may be implemented through existing resources, mechanisms, and awards of the Department of State’s Global Threat Reduction Program.

(2)

Director of National Science Foundation

The Director of the National Science Foundation, in accordance with the memorandum of understanding required under subsection (c), is authorized to perform the following activities for the Program (except for activities to carry out section 4(b)(3)):

(A)

Develop and issue solicitations for projects described in paragraphs (1), (2), and (4) of section 4(b), or coordinate with other Federal science agencies to develop and issue such solicitations, as appropriate.

(B)

Establish peer review panels comprised of individuals with demonstrated experience in relevant fields to—

(i)

review, based on scientific merit, proposals for grants; and

(ii)

provide recommendations regarding evaluation of such proposals.

(C)

Make recommendations to the Secretary of State for grants based on the peer review recommendations.

(D)

Administer grants on behalf of the Program to organizations domiciled in the United States that are collaborating with foreign organizations in accordance with the terms of this Act.

(c)

Agreement required

Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Director of the National Science Foundation to coordinate activities carried out pursuant to this Act.

(d)

Acceptance of funds from outside sources

The Program may accept funds from outside sources, including foreign governments, nongovernmental organizations, and private business entities.

(e)

Rule of construction

Nothing in this Act may be construed to make any grant recipient an agent or establishment of the United States Government.

(f)

Annual report

(1)

In general

Not later than November 30 of each year, the President shall transmit to Congress a report relating to the Program for the preceding fiscal year.

(2)

Contents

The report required under paragraph (1) shall include the following information:

(A)

A report on operations, activities, and accomplishments under the Program, including, if appropriate, a classified annex.

(B)

All expenditures of funds from the Program.

(C)

A report on metrics used to gauge success of the Program.

(g)

Assistance otherwise prohibited by law

(1)

In general

The Secretary of State may not use the authorities provided in this Act to provide any type of assistance, make any grants, or carry out any activities described in section 4 that are otherwise prohibited by any provision of law.

(2)

Activities relating to China

Any activity undertaken pursuant to this section with the Government of China or a nongovernmental entity in China may not involve a transfer of items on the United States Munitions List (established by the President under section 38(a)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2778(a)(1)) or Commerce Control List (maintained under part 774 of title 15, Code of Federal Regulations).

6.

Funding

(a)

In general

There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out sections 4 and 5.

(b)

Additional authorities

Amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization for appropriations under subsection (a)—

(1)

may be referred to as the Global Science Program for Security, Competitiveness, and Diplomacy; and

(2)

may remain available until expended.

(c)

Transfer authority

The Secretary of State may transfer funds authorized to be appropriated pursuant to this section to other Federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation, for the purposes of administering the Program. The Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) may transfer funds transferred to the NSF, as appropriate, to other Federal science agencies for the purpose of implementing the Program.

(d)

Prohibition

None of the funds authorized to be appropriated for the Program may be used for a Congressional earmark as defined in clause 9(d) of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives.

7.

Advisory Panel on International Scientific Cooperation

(a)

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1)

an advisory panel will assist the Secretary of State in maximizing the impact of the Program, including forging links between the global science and business community and United States scientists; and

(2)

individuals with international business and science expertise who are not employees of the United States Government could bring invaluable perspectives to the Program.

(b)

Panel establishment

(1)

In general

The Secretary of State may establish a panel to be known as the Advisory Panel on International Scientific Cooperation to facilitate implementation of the Program.

(2)

Responsibilities

The Advisory Panel should provide advice and guidance to the Secretary of State on the policy and implementation of programs and projects of the Program.

(3)

Membership

If the Secretary of State establishes the Advisory Panel, members of the Advisory Panel shall be drawn from—

(A)

individuals with experience and leadership in the fields of science, international business, and engineering; and

(B)

individuals with experience and leadership in nongovernmental entities, including universities, that implement science research programs.

(4)

Compensation

No member of the Advisory Panel may receive compensation for services performed as a member of the Panel.

8.

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1)

the Office of the Science and Technology Advisor of the Department of State should be further integrated into the overall activities of the Department of State, including greater involvement in the activities of regional bureaus; and

(2)

science is a critical, underutilized resource for United States diplomacy, and that the activities of bureaus with oversight over science programs within the Department should be integrated.

9.

Embassy Science Fellows Program

(a)

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1)

scientific fellows at the Department of State critically augment the capacity of the Department and United States embassies to address science and technology issues;

(2)

Federal agencies are reluctant to pay the costs of scientists detailed to serve in United States embassies; and

(3)

expanding existing fellowship programs will meet the Department’s needs to enhance the role of science at United States embassies.

(b)

Authorization

The Secretary of State is authorized to establish a program to be known as the Embassy Science Fellows Program to serve the following purposes:

(1)

Pay for the costs of scientists employed at Federal agencies to serve in the Department of State.

(2)

Enhance the role scientists play in strengthening United States diplomatic efforts.

(3)

Ensure the placement of scientists at United States embassies.

(c)

Authorization of appropriations

From amounts made available to the Diplomatic and Consular Programs account of the Department of State, there is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of State such sums as may be necessary to implement the Program authorized to be established in accordance with subsection (b).

(d)

Acceptance of funds from additional sources

The Secretary of State may accept funds from additional sources, including foundations, nongovernmental organizations, private business entities, and other Federal agencies to implement the Program authorized to be established in accordance with subsection (b).

10.

Jefferson Science Fellows Program

(a)

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1)

tenured or similarly ranked academic scientists from United States institutions of higher learning can provide critical expertise and inform foreign policy matters at the Department of State;

(2)

United States academic institutions enjoy an enhanced reputation in the international scientific community;

(3)

the presence of United States scientists at the Department of State and at diplomatic and consular missions enhances the utility of science as tool for diplomatic engagement; and

(4)

the Jefferson Science Fellows Program authorized to be established pursuant to this section will provide a successful model for augmenting the scientific expertise at the Department of State.

(b)

Authorization

The Secretary of State is authorized to establish a program to be known as the Jefferson Science Fellows Program to serve the following purposes:

(1)

Provide an opportunity for tenured or similarly ranked research-active scientists and engineers from the United States academic community to serve in the Department of State for one year.

(2)

Maintain an ongoing interactive relationship between United States academic institutions and the Department of State by utilizing former Jefferson Fellows as expert consultants for short-term projects for at least five years following their fellowship tenure.

(3)

Enhance the availability at the Department of State of up-to-date scientific knowledge relevant to foreign policy and international relations.

(4)

Enhance the use of science as a tool for diplomacy at the Department of State.

(c)

Authorization of appropriations

(1)

In general

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of State such sums as may be necessary to implement the Jefferson Science Fellows Program authorized to be established in accordance with subsection (b).

(2)

Use of funds

The Secretary of State is authorized to use amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations under paragraph (1) to make grants or enter into cooperative agreements related to Department of State science and technology fellowship programs, including for assistance in recruiting fellows and the payment of stipends, travel, and other appropriate expenses to fellows.

(3)

Not compensation

Stipends made available under this section may not be considered compensation for purposes of section 209 of title 18, United States Code.

(d)

Acceptance of funds from outside sources

The Secretary of State may accept funds from outside sources, including foundations, nongovernmental organizations, and private business entities to implement the Jefferson Science Fellows Program authorized to be established in accordance with subsection (b).

11.

Scientific Envoys Program

(a)

Authorization

The Secretary of State is authorized to establish a program to be known as the Scientific Envoys Program. In carrying out the Program, the Secretary shall appoint scientists and engineers, including Nobel Prize Laureates and renowned researchers and professors, to serve as envoys on behalf of the United States to—

(1)

represent the commitment of the United States to promote, in collaboration with other countries, the advancement of science and technology; and

(2)

facilitate partnership with eligible countries.

(b)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of State such sums as may be necessary to implement the Program authorized to be established in accordance with subsection (a).

12.

Sense of Congress regarding science-related conferences, exchanges, and programs

(a)

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

The United States is a preeminent location for science-related conferences, exchanges, and programs.

(2)

Such conferences contribute to State and local economies and provide critical opportunities for United States scientists to interact with foreign counterparts.

(3)

Recently, the visa process to gain admission to the United States for such events has become sufficiently onerous to deter foreign visitors whom the United States should welcome.

(b)

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that relevant Federal agencies should work to improve the overall visa process to ensure that the United States remains a central destination for such conferences, exchanges, and programs.