Message to the Congress Transmitting Proposed Legislation on Superconductivity Competitiveness
the Congress of the
am pleased to transmit today for your immediate consideration and passage the
``Superconductivity Competitiveness Act of 1988.'' This legislation is needed
to help translate
Scientific advances in superconductivity have taken place at a remarkable pace recently. In the estimation of one noted physicist, in the past year we have made 200 years worth of progress. As additional breakthroughs occur, the effect on our standard of living -- indeed, our way of life -- could be dramatic and unprecedented, in areas as diverse as transportation, energy, health care, computers, and communication.
By funding basic research, the Federal government has played a key role in these scientific breakthroughs. In Fiscal Year 1987, the Federal government spent about $55 million in superconductivity research. In Fiscal Year 1988, the Federal government will spend significantly more -- increasing the annual spending to more than $100 million. Ultimately, however, our success in superconductivity will depend on the private sector, which will make the critical decisions on how much capital, time, and effort to invest in commercializing superconductivity.
To promote greater cooperation among the Federal government, academia, and American industry in the basic and enabling research that is necessary to continue to achieve superconductivity breakthroughs;
To better protect the intellectual property rights of scientists, engineers, and other professionals working in superconductivity.
The Superconductivity Competitiveness Act of 1988 (``the Act'') is a key part of this initiative. It will help ensure our readiness in commercializing recent and anticipated scientific breakthroughs.
Title I of the Act states the title of the legislation.
II amends the National Cooperative Research Act (NCRA) to cover joint
production ventures. This is a particularly important step toward allowing
II recognizes that unless
III of the Act increases the protection of the
IV of the Act would provide protection for certain commercially valuable
scientific and technical information generated in Federal government-owned and
-operated laboratories. In particular, Title IV recognizes that commercially
valuable scientific and technological information generated in Federal
facilities loses potential commercial value when it is released wholesale under
the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In addition, mandatory disclosure of
such information under FOIA could encourage
I should note that my Administration is currently developing a uniform policy to permit Federal contractors to own the rights to technical information that they develop for the government. This is intended to provide these contractors with proprietary rights equal to those of other firms that submit technical information to the government that was developed at private expense. Because our policy in this area is still under development, Title IV has been drafted to apply only to Federal government-generated, government-owned scientific and technical information.
Title V specifies the effective date of the Act.
is a growing realization that, although the
The White House,