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Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and TransportationIntroducedMarch 12th, 2009
- senate Committees
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Building a Stronger America Act
A bill to provide grants and loan guarantees for the development and construction of science parks to promote the clustering of innovation through high technology activities.
Building a Stronger America Act - Amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to direct the Secretary of Commerce to award grants for the development of feasibility studies and plans for the construction of new or expansion (including renovation and modernization) of existing science parks. Defines a "science park" to mean a centralized or regionally distributed group of interrelated companies and institutions that foster knowledge flow and contribute to regional economic growth, cooperate and compete with each other through physical connectivity or networked virtual parks, and are located in a specific area or region that promotes real estate development or knowledge-based enterprises, technology transfer, and partnerships. Limits the amount of a grant to $750,000. Requires: (1) grants to be advertised in the Commerce Business Daily; (2) grants to be awarded pursuant to a full and open competition; and (3) competition criteria to include requirements relating to the use of energy efficient building technology, the consideration of the transformation of military bases affected by the base realignment and closure process (BRAC) or the redevelopment of existing structures or brownfield sites that are abandoned, and the ability to collaborate with other science parks throughout the world. Encourages dividing grants among low-, medium-, and high-population density states. Authorizes appropriations for FY2011-FY2015. Allows the Secretary to guarantee up to 80% of the loan amount for projects for the construction or expansion (including renovation and modernization) of science park infrastructure. Limits the maximum amount of loan principal guaranteed to: (1) $50 million for any single project; and (2) $500 million for all projects. Requires the Secretary to select loan guarantee recipients based upon their ability to collateralize the loan. Bars entities that receive a grant under this Act from being eligible for a loan guarantee during the period of their grant. Sets forth provisions concerning: (1) loan guarantee terms and conditions; and (2) a borrower's default. Requires the Comptroller General to review the subsidy estimates for the loan guarantees and to report to Congress. Prohibits guaranteeing a loan after September 30, 2015. Authorizes appropriations for guaranteeing loans and for administrative expenses. Directs the Secretary to enter into an agreement with the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) under which the Board shall evaluate activities under this Act, recommend best practices for the development of science parks, and report on such evaluation and recommendations. Requires the Secretary to submit specified tri-annual reports to Congress.