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Tag Archives: House Committee on Science and Technology

The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010

To retain respect for sausages and laws, one must not watch them in the making

Prince Otto von Bismarck

On April 22, 2010, Rep. Bart Gordon of Tennessee introduced HR 5116, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, which was then referred to the House Committee on Science and Technology and the House Committee on Education and Labor.

The bill’s focus, as it’s title implies, is on reauthorizing the America COMPETES Act passed in 2007. Both the original act provided government support for innovation, research and development, increased funding for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM for short) in high schools and colleges, and assistance in getting the results of research and development out to the private sector, ultimately leading to the emergence of new industries and an expansion of the economy. The Reauthorization act would have expanded on this and would have included other areas, such as a reorganization of the National Institutes of Standards and Technology.

The House Committee on Science and Technology reported the bill out of committee with an amendment in the nature of a substitute; all of the language after the enacting clause was stripped out and new language substituted. Both the bill as introduced and the bill as reported to the House have the same language for Title I, "Science and Technology Policy", Subtitle A, "The National Nanotechnology Initiatives Amendments Act of 2010", which will be our focus here.

Section 102, "National Nanotechnology Program Amendments" would require, within 12 months of the bill’s enactment into …

The Nanotechnology Education Act

The Nanotechnology Education Act (H.R. 4502), was introduced early last week by Rep. David Wu (D-1st-OR) and co-sponsored by Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-3rd-Ill). The bill has as it’s purpose the establishment of a grant program aimed at helping secondary schools, colleges and universities to established and improve nanotechnology education programs and facilities.

The bill notes that nanotechnology "is generating scientific and technological breakthroughs that will benefit society by improving the way many things are produced" and that

Nanotechnology is likely to have a significant, positive impact on the security, economic well-being, and health of Americans as fields related to nanotechnology expand.

the bill announces its formidable goal:

In order to maximize the benefits of nanotechnology to individuals in the United States, the United States must maintain world leadership in the field, including nanoscience and microtechnology, in the face of determined competition from other nations.

To maintain that level of world leadership

the United States must make a long-term investment in educating United States students in secondary schools and institutions of higher education, so that the students are able to conduct nanoscience research and develop and commercialize nanotechnology applications.

Preparing United States students for careers in nanotechnology, including nanoscience, requires that the students have access to the necessary scientific tools, including scanning electron microscopes designed for teaching, and requires training to enable teachers and professors to use those tools in the classroom and the laboratory.

H.R. 4502 states it’s purpose:

is to strengthen the capacity of United States secondary schools …

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