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House Approves Legislation Prioritizing Research and Innovation at the Department of Energy

Sep 13, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today the House of Representatives unanimously cleared H.R. 589, the Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act, for Presidential enactment. Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith’s legislation prioritizes critical basic research and science at Department of Energy (DOE) national labs. The bill, which is the first comprehensive authorization for Office of Science programs, facilitates government-industry partnerships, streamlines national lab management, and establishes research priorities for the Office of Science.

H.R. 589 will improve technology transfer between DOE and private industry by enhancing coordination and cutting red tape. It requires DOE to better manage research efforts across the Department to save money, reduce waste, and prevent duplication. Additionally, the legislation provides statutory direction and priorities for basic research programs within DOE’s Office of Science. This includes research in basic energy sciences, biological and environmental research, high performance computing, nuclear physics, high energy physics, and fusion energy. 

Chairman Smith:

“The Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act is a bipartisan bill that is the product of years of thoughtful discussion on how best to enhance innovative research at DOE. In addition to encouraging public-private partnerships to promote economic growth, the bill also establishes key research priorities that will help advance next-generation technology development in America. I look forward to seeing it signed into law soon.”

Ranking Member Johnson:

“This bill would be the first comprehensive authorization of DOE Office of Science, which is the largest supporter of physical sciences research in the country. This is a $6.6 billion office that manages 10 of our national laboratories, often called the crown jewels of our national research infrastructure. In addition, it includes a number of important technology transfer provisions, would provide the first authorization of the promising Innovation Hub model for energy research, and would enable greater private sector engagement with ARPA-E. I believe each of these areas will be critical to ensuring our nation’s competitiveness and our clean energy future.”

The full text of the bill can be found here.

115th Congress