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S. 1187 (114th): America INNOVATES Act

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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 May 4, 2015.

America Implementing New National Opportunities To Vigorously Accelerate Technology, Energy, and Science Act or the America INNOVATES Act

Amends the Department of Energy Organization Act to rename the Under Secretary for Science as the Under Secretary for Science and Energy.

Directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to report annually on DOE's ability to improve the technology transfer and commercialization of energy technologies.

Directs DOE to carry out the Agreements for Commercializing Technology pilot program, in part by giving the contractors of the DOE nonmilitary national laboratories (national laboratories) increased authority to negotiate contract terms and making every such facility eligible for the program.

Extends the pilot program for a term of three years after the enactment of this Act.

Requires DOE to delegate to the directors of the national laboratories signature authority with respect to certain agreements (except those with a majority foreign-owned company) whose total cost is less than $1 million.

Permits the directors of national laboratories to use funds authorized to support technology transfer within DOE to carry out early-stage and precommercial technology demonstration activities to: (1) remove technology barriers that limit private sector interest, and (2) demonstrate potential commercial applications of any research and technologies arising from national laboratory activities.

Amends the Small Business Act to require DOE, in carrying out its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, to provide to small businesses seeking funding under these programs information concerning resources available to them at national laboratories and federally funded research and development centers.

Amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to exempt, for six years after enactment of this Act, institutions of higher education and nonprofit institutions from the cost-sharing requirements for research and development.

Requires the Government Accountability Office to report to Congress on the results of projects developed under this Act and on DOE efforts to promote technology transfer and private sector engagement at the national laboratories.