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SSTI Digest

NGA & DOC's Technology Administration Sign MOU

A Memorandum of Understanding has been entered into between the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration (TA) and the National Governors' Association (NGA) to develop the U.S. Innovation Partnership (USIP). USIP will be developed to help combine and coordinate state and federal efforts in science and technology and manufacturing extension programs.

11 Governor's Seats Up for Election

While most of the attention has been focused on the presidential election and the fight for control of the Congress, eleven states will also be electing governors on November 5. Four of those races are for open seats where the governor has either decided not to seek reelection or is prohibited from running again.

SSTI to Study How Tech Investments Can Benefit Distressed Areas

SSTI has entered into a cooperative agreement with the Economic Development Administration to examine how state investments in science and technology can support development in distressed areas. The project includes:

FY96 Earmarks for University Research

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently released its annual report on funding for university projects that Congress specifically directed federal agencies to support. According to the Chronicle, nearly $299 million was earmarked in FY96 for higher education activities. The FY96 level of earmarks was a significant decrease from the $600 million identified in FY95.

Texas Creates S&T Council

Last month, Governor George W. Bush issued an Executive Order that created the Texas Science and Technology Council. The mission of the 21 member board is to "research, develop, and report to the Governor the means available to the State of Texas to become the national leader in science and technology cooperation, development, and research."

FY97 Federal Budget Signed

Bypassing the drawn out struggle over the federal budget that resulted in last year's shut downs of the federal government, the Congress and President reached agreement on the FY97 federal budget earlier this month. While federal cooperative technology programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF) received the full amount the President requested, programs at the Department of Commerce encountered significant challenges.

NSF Selects 13 Materials Centers

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected 13 new Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers, bringing the total number of centers to 24. NSF support for the new centers is expected to amount to $105 million over the next five year years. The centers are university-based programs that support interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary materials research and education.

Personnel News & Position Available

We are sad to report that Matt Filner, a Policy Analyst with SSTI, has submitted his resignation effective October 18 to pursue his academic studies full-time. In addition to being a valued staff member of SSTI, Matt was a key participant in organizing the Colloquium at Airlie House and a vital contributor to Partnerships: A Compendium of State and Federal Cooperative Technology Programs. His dedication, persistence, and creativity will be sorely missed. We wish him well as he works toward his Ph.D. at Indiana University.

NSF Names New Assistant Director for Engineering

Dr. Elbert L. Marsh has been named to head the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Engineering. Dr. Marsh will now assume responsibility for all engineering funding at the federal agency--in excess of $300 million in 1995.

House Passes Space Commercialization Act

The House of Representative has passed the Space Commercialization Act (H.R. 3936). The bill, sponsored by Rep. Robert Walker (R-PA), is designed to make it easier for private companies to participate in space operations. The major provisions of the bill include: the NASA Administrator would be directed to prepare a market study that would examine the role commercial ventures may play in the International Space Station; NASA would be required, to the maximum extent possible, to acquire earth remote sensing data, services, distribution and applications, where cost effective, from the U.S. private sector; and, the government would be required to procure launch service from U.S. commercial providers, and to the maximum extent possible, plan missions to accommodate the space transportation capabilities of U.S. commercial providers.

DOC Releases Compendium of Foreign S&T Info Sources

The U.S. Department of Commerce has published a compendium of federal departments and agencies and private sector organizations that "monitor, collect, disseminate, or conduct analysis of information involving foreign science and technology." The compendium provides the only comprehensive listing of U.S. resources, both public and private, that maintain vital information on foreign S&T efforts.

NSTC Releases Technology in the National Interest

A report highlighting the role that technology plays in the U.S. economy and the challenges of competing in a global economy has been released by the National Science and Technology Council. Technology in the National Interest describes federal technology initiatives, traces the evolution of U.S. technology policy, and identifies milestones and major legislation that have promoted technological progress.