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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer
This report provides an overview of the nanotechnology that is believed by many to offer extraordinary economic and societal benefits, which are discussed in more detail in other CRS reports—and two others: nanomanufacturing and public understanding of and attitudes toward nanotechnology. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87344/
Science, Technology, and American Diplomacy: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of current U.S. international S&T policy; describes the role of the Department of State (DOS), the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other federal agencies; and discusses possible policy options for Congress. It focuses on international science and technology diplomacy, where American leadership in science and technology is used as a diplomatic tool to enhance another country's development and to improve understanding by other nations of U.S. values and ways of doing business. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87343/
The Arecibo Ionospheric Observatory
This report discusses the issues involved with determining whether the Arecib Ionospheric Observatory is more cost-effective than replacing it with newer, available technology. The Arecibo Ionospheric Observatory is a radio and radar telescope located in Barrio Esperanza, Arecibo, Puerto Rico. In 2005-2006, NSF's Division of Astronomical Sciences (AST) conducted a Senior Review of its portfolio of facilities and reported that the scientific value of the Arecibo was modest when compared to other existing and proposed projects and recommended decreasing the telescope's annual $12.0 million budget to $9.0 million in FY2009, and securing partnerships for the remaining necessary funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87139/
Federal Support for Academic Research
This report discusses how to address the issue of budget reductions while supporting research conducted at colleges and universities, due to the role of academic research on the economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87184/
The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress
This report discusses the role of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), including an overview of the history of science and technology advice to the President, issues and options for Congress regarding (OSTP) Director, OSTP management and operations, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). The report also discusses actions taken by the Obama Administration regarding OSTP. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87355/
The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress
Congress established the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) through the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976. The act states that “The primary function of the OSTP Director is to provide, within the Executive Office of the President [EOP], advice on the scientific, engineering, and technological aspects of issues that require attention at the highest level of Government.” Issues for Congress to consider regarding OSTP are the nomination of the OSTP director by the President; engagement of OSTP with China; the title, rank, and responsibilities of the OSTP director; OSTP policy foci; OSTP funding and staffing; roles and functions of the OSTP and NSTC; and the status and influence of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87356/
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2012
This report discusses mechanisms used to continue appropriations in the absence of enactment of regular appropriations acts and to complete the annual appropriations process. Completion of appropriations after the beginning of each fiscal year may cause agencies to delay or cancel some planned R&D and equipment acquisition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87172/
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2012
President Obama has requested $147.911 billion for research and development (R&D) in FY2012, a $772 million (0.5%) increase from the FY2010 actual R&D funding level of $147.139 billion. 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. Low or negative growth in the overall R&D investment may require movement of resources across disciplines, programs, or agencies to address priorities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87174/
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2012
This report summarizes budgetary decisions relating to research and development funding for FY2012. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87173/
The Army's Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report looks at the history and current need for a Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program. Potential issues for Congress include the role and need for the GCV in a downsized Army that will likely have fewer heavy brigade combat teams (HBCTs). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86572/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
The Coast Guard's proposed FY2013 budget includes $8 million in acquisition funding to initiate survey and design activities for a new polar icebreaker. The Coast Guard's Five Year Capital Investment Plan includes an additional $852 million in FY2014-FY2017 for acquiring the ship. The Coast Guard anticipates awarding a construction contract for the ship "within the next five years" and taking delivery on the ship "within a decade." The project to design and build a polar icebreaker is a new acquisition project initiated in the FY2013 budget. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85474/
Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer
Nanoscale science, engineering, and technology-commonly referred to collectively as nanotechnology-is believed by many to offer extraordinary economic and societal benefits. Congress has demonstrated continuing support for nanotechnology and has directed its attention primarily to three topics that may affect the realization of this hoped for potential: federal research and development (R&D) in nanotechnology; U.S. competitiveness; and environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns. This report provides an overview of these topics-which are discussed in more detail in other CRS reports-and two others: nanomanufacturing and public understanding of and attitudes toward nanotechnology. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85476/
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities
In the early 1990s, Congress recognized that several federal agencies had ongoing high performance computing programs, but no central coordinating body existed to ensure long-term coordination and planning. To provide such a framework, Congress passed the High-Performance Computing and Communications Program Act of 1991 to enhance the effectiveness of the various programs. In conjunction with the passage of the act, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released Grand Challenges: High-Performance Computing and Communications. Current concerns are the role of the federal government in supporting IT R&D and the level of funding to allot to it. This report also looks at federal budgets for the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84062/
U.S. National Science Foundation: Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84033/
U.S. National Science Foundation: Major Research Equipment and Facility Construction
The Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) account of the National Science Foundation (NSF) supports the acquisition and construction of major research facilities and equipment that are to extend the boundaries of science, engineering, and technology. The Administration's FY2013 budget request for the NSF is $7,373.1 million, a 4.8% increase over the FY2012 estimated level of $7,033.1 million. Included in the request total is $196.2 million for MREFC, slightly below the FY2012 estimate of $197.1 million. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84105/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84085/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84084/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84083/
U.S. National Science Foundation: An Overview
The National Science Foundation (NSF) was created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (P.L.81-507). The NSF has the broad mission of supporting science and engineering in general and funding basic research across many disciplines. The agency provides support for investigator-initiated, merit-reviewed, competitively selected awards, state-of-the-art tools, and instrumentation and facilities. The majority of the research supported by the NSF is conducted at U.S. colleges and universities. The Administration's FY2013 budget request for NSF is $7,373.1 million, 4.8% above the FY2012 estimated level of $7,033.1 million. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83819/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40231/
Other Transaction (OT) Authority
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40241/
The Technology Innovation Program
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40275/
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2011
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33013/
U.S. National Science Foundation: Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33036/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33068/
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33015/
Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31365/
The Helium-3 Shortage: Supply, Demand, and Options for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31373/
Neglected Tropical Diseases: Background, Responses, and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31476/
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2011
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29582/
U.S. National Science Foundation: Major Research Equipment and Facility Construction
The Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) account of the National Science Foundation (NSF) supports the acquisition and construction of major research facilities and equipment that are to extend the boundaries of science, engineering, and technology. The FY2011 request for the NSF is $7,424.4 million, approximately $551.9 million above the FY2010 estimate. This report discusses the research endeavors overseen by the NSF, as well as what NSF projects will be funded by FY2011 appropriations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29732/
Navy CG(X) Cruiser Program: Background for Congress
The Navy's FY2011 budget proposes canceling the CG(X) program as unaffordable and instead building an improved version of the Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class Aegis destroyer called the Flight III version. This report provides background information on the CG(X) program as it existed prior to its proposed cancellation. For further discussion of the proposal to build Flight III DDG-51s in lieu of CG(X)s, see the CRS report on destroyer procurement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29698/
Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force
The increased presence of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs and in the scientific workforce has been and continues to be of concern to some in the scientific community. Enrollment of U.S. citizens in graduate science and engineering programs has not kept pace with that of foreign students in those programs. In addition to the number of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs, a significant number of university faculty in the scientific disciplines are foreign, and foreign doctorates are employed in large numbers by industry. This report explains this issue in detail, as well as probable causes of said incongruity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29515/
Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force
he increased presence of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs and in the scientific workforce has been and continues to be of concern to some in the scientific community. Enrollment of U.S. citizens in graduate science and engineering programs has not kept pace with that of foreign students in those programs. The scientific community has been divided over proposals to impose stricter immigration limits on people with scientific and technical skills. Attempts to settle upon the balance between the needs for a highly skilled scientific and technical workforce, and the need to protect and ensure job opportunities, salaries, and working conditions of U.S. scientific personnel, will continue to be debated. This report addresses these issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29517/
Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force
The increased presence of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs and in the scientific workforce has been and continues to be of concern to some in the scientific community. Enrollment of U.S. citizens in graduate science and engineering programs has not kept pace with that of foreign students in those programs. In addition to the number of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs, a significant number of university faculty in the scientific disciplines are foreign, and foreign doctorates are employed in large numbers by industry. This report explains this issue in detail, as well as probable causes of said incongruity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29516/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29706/
U.S. National Science Foundation: Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29643/
The Army's Future Combat System (FCS): Background and Issues for Congress
This report describes the Future Combat System (FCS) program, which was to be the Army's major research, development, and acquisition program consisting of 14 manned and unmanned systems linked by an extensive communications and information network. This report describes the proposed restructuring of the FCS program, announced by Secretary of Defense Gates in April 2009, which includes modernizing outdated equipment and re-evaluating vehicle design strategy. This report will be superseded by a report on the Army's BCT (Brigade Combat Team) Modernization Strategy when sufficient details are available. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26228/
America COMPETES Act and the FY2010 Budget
This report discusses in detail the America COMPETES Act, which is intended to increase the nation's investment in research and development (R&D), and in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This report discusses the funding increases authorized by the act for various relevant institutions, e.g., the National Science Foundation (NSF); the act's education activities intended to enhance the skills of STEM educators; and if Congress will continue to similarly fund the America COMPETES Act in the FY2010 budget. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26144/
America COMPETES Act and the FY2010 Budget
This report discusses in detail the America COMPETES Act, which is intended to increase the nation's investment in research and development (R&D), and in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This report discusses the funding increases authorized by the act for various relevant institutions, e.g., the National Science Foundation (NSF); the act's education activities intended to enhance the skills of STEM educators; and if Congress will continue to similarly fund the America COMPETES Act in the FY2010 budget. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26143/
America COMPETES Act: Programs, Funding, and Selected Issues
This report explores and describes in detail the America COMPETES Act (P.K. 110-69), which became law on August 9, 2007. The act responds to concerns that the United States may not be able to compete economically with other nations in the future due to insufficient investment today in science and technology research and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce development. This report explains the aims and design of the America COMPETES Act, what funding developments the act authorizes, what education activities the act involves, and related legislation and government programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26269/
Navy CG(X) Cruiser Program: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
The Navy is currently developing technologies and studying design options for a planned new cruiser called the CG(X). This report explores the reasoning behind the development of these cruisers, the budgetary actions taking place to enable their development, selected technical specifics of their design, and various other information relating to defense procurement costs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26265/
Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force
The increased presence of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs and in the scientific workforce has been and continues to be of concern to some in the scientific community. Enrollment of U.S. citizens in graduate science and engineering programs has not kept pace with that of foreign students in those programs. Many in the scientific community maintain that in order to compete with countries that are rapidly expanding their scientific and technological capabilities, the country needs to bring to the United States those whose skills will benefit society and will enable us to compete in the new-technology based global economy. This report analyzes this issue in detail and includes discussion of related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26122/
The U.S. Science and Technology Workforce
In the 21st century, global competition and rapid advances in science and technology will challenge the scientific and technical proficiency of the U.S. workforce. This report provides an overview of the status of the U.S. science and technology (S&T) workforce, and identifies some of the issues and options that are currently being discussed in Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26280/
Financing Catastrophic Risk: Summary of the Homeowners' Defense Act of 2009 (S. 505 and H.R. 2555)
This report discusses the drastic increase in demand for homeowners' insurance in Atlantic and Gulf Coast states following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This report also discusses various measures and efforts underway to enhance insurer capacity, pursue alternative forms of risk transfer, and create a national catastrophe financing facility, the last of which is an issue under considerable debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26174/
R&D Partnerships: Government-Industry Collaboration
Efforts by the 104th Congress to eliminate several government-industry-university research and development partnership programs reflected some opposition to federally funded programs designed to facilitate the commercialization of technology. Within the context of the budget decisions, the 106th Congress is expected to again debate the government's role in promoting collaborative ventures focused on generating new products and processes for the marketplace. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26094/
The National Institutes of Health: An Overview
The National Institutes of Health is the focal point of federal health research. It uses its $17.8 billion budget to support more than 50,000 scientists working at 2,000 institutions across the United States, as well as to conduct biomedical and behavioral research and research training at its own facilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26108/
The Technology Innovation Program
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. The elimination of ATP and the creation of TIP have renewed the debate over the role of the federal government in promoting commercial technology development. This report discusses the opposing sides of this ongoing debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26343/
Cooperative Research and Development Agreements
A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) is a mechanism established by P.L. 99-602, the Federal Technology Transfer Act, to allow the transfer of technology, knowledge, and expertise from government laboratories to the private sector for further development and commercialization. The government provides support in the way of overhead for research and development performed in the federal laboratory and is prohibited from providing funding directly to the partner in the collaborative effort. Currently, more than 5,000 CRADAs have been signed. As the 105th Congress determines its approach to science and technology policies, the role of CRADAs continues to be debated within the context of federal support for R&D digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26071/
U.S. National Science Foundation: An Overview
The majority of the research supported by the NSF is conducted at U.S. colleges and universities. Approximately 82.7% ($3,094.8 million) of NSF's FY2006 $3,740.6 million research and development (R&D) budget was awarded to U.S. colleges and universities. On September 30, 2008, the President signed into law the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 110-329, H.R. 2638). The act includes, among other things, three of the 12 regular appropriations acts for FY2009. The Continuing Appropriations Act funds the NSF until passage of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Appropriations bill or until March 6, 2009, whichever occurs first. P.L. 110-329 funds the NSF at the FY2008 level. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26079/