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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Other Transaction (OT) Authority

Other Transaction (OT) Authority

Date: July 15, 2011
Creator: Halchin, L. Elaine
Description: An other transaction (OT) is a special vehicle used by federal agencies for obtaining or advancing research and development (R&D) or prototypes. An OT is not a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement, and there is no statutory or regulatory definition of "other transaction." Only those agencies that have been provided OT authority may engage in other transactions.
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The Technology Innovation Program

The Technology Innovation Program

Date: April 25, 2011
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Description: The Technology Innovation Program (TIP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was established in 2007 to replace the Advanced Technology Program (ATP). This effort is designed "to support, promote, and accelerate innovation in the United States through highrisk, high-reward research in areas of critical national need," according to the authorizing legislation. Grants are provided to small and medium-sized firms for individual projects or joint ventures with other research organizations.
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U.S. National Science Foundation: Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)

U.S. National Science Foundation: Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)

Date: March 17, 2011
Creator: Matthews, Christine M.
Description: The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) was authorized by Congress in 1978, partly in response to concerns in Congress and the concerns of some in academia and the scientific community about the geographic distribution of federal research and development (R&D) funds. Some have questioned the length of time states should receive EPSCoR support. It continues to be called an experimental program after 28 years, and observers have noted that no state has yet to graduate, or leave the program. This report discusses current policy involving EPSCoR, as well as budget requests.
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Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Date: March 18, 2011
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions.
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Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2011

Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2011

Date: March 10, 2011
Creator: Sargent, Jr., John F.
Description: This report summarizes the FY2011 budget request for research & development (R&D) funding, including comparisons to R&D funding requests in the FY2010 budget. Congress will play a central role in defining the nation's R&D priorities, especially with respect to two overarching issues: the extent to which the Federal R&D investment can grow in the context of increased pressure on discretionary spending and how available funding will be prioritized and allocated. This report breaks down in detail the various aspects of the President's FY2011 R&D funding request.
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Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations

Date: March 21, 2011
Creator: James, Nathan; Gonzales, Oscar R. & Williams, Jennifer D.
Description: This report provides an overview of actions taken by Congress to provide FY2011 appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS). It also provides an overview of FY2010 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded under the CJS bill.
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Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain

Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain

Date: September 30, 2010
Creator: Humphries, Marc
Description: The concentration of production of rare earth elements (REEs) outside the United States raises the important issue of supply vulnerability. REEs are used for new energy technologies and national security applications. This report provides a discussion on the major issues and concerns of the global supply chain for rare earth elements, their major end uses, and legislative and other policy proposals that Congress may consider to improve the U.S. rare earth position.
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The Helium-3 Shortage: Supply, Demand, and Options for Congress

The Helium-3 Shortage: Supply, Demand, and Options for Congress

Date: September 21, 2010
Creator: Shea, Dana A. & Morgan, Daniel
Description: The world is experiencing a shortage of helium-3, a rare isotope of helium with applications in homeland security, national security, medicine, industry, and science. Federal officials have testified that the shortage is acute and, unless alternatives are found, will affect federal investments in homeland security, scientific research, and other areas. This report discusses the nature of the shortage; federal actions undertaken so far to address it; current and potential sources of helium-3 and options for increasing the supply; current and projected uses of helium-3 and options for reducing the demand; and options for allocating the supply if it continues to fall short of demand.
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Neglected Tropical Diseases: Background, Responses, and Issues for Congress

Neglected Tropical Diseases: Background, Responses, and Issues for Congress

Date: January 21, 2011
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji
Description: Over the past decade, global health has become a priority in U.S. foreign policy, more than tripling U.S. funding for such efforts. This report discusses neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), a group of 17 diseases that are found primarily among the poorest people in 149 countries and territories. NTDs are an important focus of U.S. global health assistance and may come under scrutiny as the 112th Congress debates spending levels for ongoing global health programs.
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Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Date: September 29, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: Coast Guard polar icebreakers perform a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. The Coast Guard's two heavy polar icebreakers - Polar Star and Polar Sea - have exceeded their intended 30-year service lives. Following a decision to design and build one or more new polar icebreakers, the first replacement polar icebreaker might enter service in eight to 10 years, by which time Polar Star and Polar Sea could be more than 40 years old. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify Coast Guard plans for modernizing its polar icebreakers. Congressional decisions on this issue could affect the Coast Guard's ability to perform its polar missions, Coast Guard funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
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