[Senate Report 116-76]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

                                                        Calendar No. 178
116th Congress  }                                               {  Report
 1st Session    }                                               {  116-76




                August 16, 2019.--Ordered to be printed

  Filed, under authority of the order of the Senate of August 1, 2019


  Ms. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1286]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 1286) to amend the Energy Policy Act of 
2005 to facilitate the commercialization of energy and related 
technologies developed at Department of Energy facilities with 
promising commercial potential, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon without amendment, and recommends 
that the bill do pass.


    The purpose of S. 1286 is to amend the Energy Policy Act of 
2005 (EPAct 2005, Public Law 109-58) to facilitate the 
commercialization of energy and related technologies developed 
at Department of Energy (DOE or Department) facilities with 
promising commercial potential.

                          Background and Need

    Congress directed technology transfer to be a part of the 
mission of Federal Government research agencies beginning in 
the 1980s. Since that time, DOE has led the Federal Government 
in transitioning technologies to outside entities for 
commercialization through the use of a variety of mechanisms, 
including Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, 
Strategic Partnership Project Agreements, and the licensing of 
intellectual property.
    Improving the ability to transition technologies from DOE 
to the private sector continues to be a focus of Congress and 
the Department. S. 1286 provides another means to enable 
national laboratories to work with the private sector, and 
especially small businesses, to commercialize innovative energy 

                          Legislative History

    S. 1286 was introduced by Senators Heinrich, Gardner, 
Manchin, Durbin, and Harris on May 2, 2019. Senator Bennet was 
added as a cosponsor on May 7, 2019.
    An identical bill, H.R. 2495, was introduced in the House 
of Representatives by Representative Haaland on May 3, 2019, 
and referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and 
Technology, and the Committee on Armed Services.
    In the 115th Congress, Senator Heinrich introduced similar 
legislation, S. 1799, on September 12, 2017. The Subcommittee 
on Energy conducted a hearing on S. 1799 on October 3, 2017 (S. 
Hrg. 115-318). The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 
met in open business session on March 8, 2018, and ordered S. 
1799 favorably reported (S. Rept. 115-252).
    Companion legislation, H.R. 3750, was introduced by 
Representative Grisham in the House of Representatives on 
September 12, 2017, and referred to the Science, Space, and 
Technology Committee, as well as the Armed Services Committee.
    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in open 
business session on July 16, 2019, and ordered S. 1286 
favorably reported.

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on July 16, 2019, by a majority voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
1286. Senator Lee asked to be recorded as voting no.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 sets forth a short title for the bill.

Sec. 2. Energy technology maturation program

    Section 2(a) amends Title X of EPAct 2005 by adding a new 
section 1012 at the end.
    The new section 1012(a) provides definitions.
    The new section 1012(b) directs the Secretary to establish 
an ``Energy Technology Maturation Program'' to facilitate the 
commercialization of energy and related technologies that 
exhibit promising commercial potential and are developed at DOE 
    The new section 1012(c) requires the Secretary to use 
program funding for specific purposes, including to carry out 
additional development activities to advance the state of the 
technology, and to support the cooperative development of a 
technology for a specific commercial application.
    The new section 1012(d) sets forth requirements for program 
applications; permits DOE facilities to submit applications for 
more than one project; and directs the Secretary to develop 
criteria for evaluating projects and give priority to projects 
submitted by partnerships between a Department facility and a 
small business.
    The new section 1012(e) establishes limits on the funding 
amounts provided to a recipient.
    The new section 1012(f) requires the Secretary to determine 
cost-sharing requirements of the program in accordance with 
section 988 of the underlying Act.
    The new section 1012(g) authorizes the Secretary to carry 
out the program with funds in the Energy Technology 
Commercialization Fund established under section 1001(e) or 
other funds made available to support technology transfer 
within the Department.
    The new section 1012(h) requires the Secretary to include a 
description of the results of the projects carried out under 
the program in the annual report required under section 
1001(g)(2) of EPAct 2005.
    Section 2(b) of the bill amends the table of contents of 
EPAct 2005 to reflect the addition of the new section 1012.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following estimate of the costs of this measure has 
been provided by the Congressional Budget Office:

    S. 1286 would direct the Department of Energy (DOE) to 
establish a program to promote the commercialization of energy 
and related technologies that are developed at department 
facilities such as the National Laboratories. The bill would 
authorize DOE to use amounts available under the Technology 
Commercialization Fund (TCF) to carry out the program. That 
fund receives 0.9 percent of the total amount appropriated 
annually to DOE for applied research, development, 
demonstration, and commercial application of energy-related 
    CBO estimates that implementing S. 1286 would have no 
significant effect on the federal budget because the bill's 
requirements are largely consistent with existing activities 
funded under the TCF. In 2019, DOE used roughly $27 million 
from the fund for commercialization activities.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Janani 
Shankaran. The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Evaluation

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 1286. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 1286, as ordered reported.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    S. 1286, as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        Executive Communications

    The testimony provided by the Department of Energy at the 
October 3, 2017, hearing on S. 1799, similar legislation to S. 
1286, follows:

Testimony of Deputy General Counsel Bernard McNamee, U.S. Department of 

S. 1799, Energy Technology Maturation Act of 2017
    As a science agency, the Department of Energy plays an 
important role in the innovation economy. DOE's 17 National 
Laboratories engage in research that expands the frontiers of 
scientific knowledge and generates new technologies that 
address the Nation's greatest energy challenges.
    Accelerating the transition of technologies from the 
laboratory bench to the marketplace is an important component 
of increasing America's economic prosperity and energy 
security. This mission is the focus of the Department of 
Energy's Office of Technology Transitions, which oversees the 
technology transfer programs across the National Laboratories, 
including industry and other stakeholder engagement for the 
purpose of private sector access to lab-developed technologies 
and capabilities for the purpose of moving these to the 
    DOE-funded energy R&D will continue to prioritize early-
stage R&D where the federal role is strongest and reflect an 
increased reliance on the private sector to fund later-stage 
research, development and commercialization of energy 
technologies. DOE is actively working with the National 
Laboratories to reduce barriers to industry engagement with the 
laboratories to accelerate energy innovation in America. DOE 
has made it a priority to strengthen the engagement between 
National Laboratories and industry and other partners.
    In response to investors and corporate partners, the DOE 
Office of Technology Transitions and its recently launched 
Energy Investor Center are streamlining industry-lab 
connections and access with a broad strategy of both live 
interaction through workshops and other events and with web-
based tools to increase, improve and integrate information flow 
through the Lab Partnering Service.
    DOE currently uses its Technology Commercialization Fund 
(TCF), to assist the private sector increase the commercial 
impact and number of National Laboratory-developed energy 
technologies transitioned into commercial development. Just 
last month the Department announced $19.7 million in funding to 
help businesses move promising energy technologies from DOE's 
National Laboratories to the marketplace. This funding 
supported through the Office of Technology Transitions' TCF--
which requires that government funds be matched by private 
sector capital--will support 54 projects across 12 National 
Laboratories involving more than 30 private-sector partners.
    Through these efforts, DOE is fostering an environment that 
promotes responsible investment, increased efficiency and 
development of new technologies, as well as predictability and 
ease of access by the private sector to the National 
Laboratories and Facilities.
    I look forward to continuing our dialogue on how to bring 
to market National Lab technologies.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the changes in existing law made 
by the original bill, as reported, are shown as follows 
(existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black 
brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law in 
which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

                     THE ENERGY POLICY ACT OF 2005


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Sec. 1001. Improved technology transfer of energy technologies.
Sec. 1002. Technology Infrastructure Program.
Sec. 1003. Small business advocacy and assistance.
Sec. 1004. Outreach.
Sec. 1005. Relationship to other laws.
Sec. 1006. Improved coordination and management of civilian science and 
          technology programs.
Sec. 1007. Other transactions authority.
Sec. 1008. Prizes for achievement in grand challenges of science and 
Sec. 1009. Technical corrections.
Sec. 1010. University collaboration.
Sec. 1011. Sense of Congress.
Sec. 1012. Energy Technology Maturation Program.

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    It is the sense of Congress that--
          (1) the Secretary should develop and implement more 
        stringent procurement and inventory controls, including 
        controls on the purchase card program, to prevent 
        waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer funds by employees 
        and contractors of the Department; and
          (2) the Department's Inspector General should 
        continue to closely review purchase card purchases and 
        other procurement and inventory practices at the 


    (a) Definitions.--In this section:
          ``(1) Department Facility.--The term ``Department 
        facility'' includes-
                  ``(A) a National Laboratory;
                  ``(B) any plant or site of the Department 
                (such as the Kansas City National Security 
                Campus, the Nevada National Security Site, the 
                Pantex Plant, and the Y-12 National Security 
                Complex); and
                  ``(C) any partnership of entities described 
                in subparagraphs (A) and (B).
          ``(2) Program.--The term `program' means the Energy 
        Technology Maturation Program established under 
        subsection (b).
    (b) Establishment.--The Secretary shall establish a 
program, to be known as the ``Energy Technology Maturation 
Program'', under which the Secretary shall provide funding to 
Department facilities to facilitate the commercialization of 
energy and related technologies that--
          (1) exhibit promising commercial potential; and
          (2) are developed at Department facilities.
    (c) Use of Funds.--A Department facility shall use funding 
provided under the program--
          (1) to carry out additional development activities on 
        any technology developed at the Department facility to 
        advance the state of the technology to the degree that 
        a private sector partner would be interested in 
        supporting commercialization of the technology; or
          (2) in any case in which a private sector partner has 
        been identified and the identified private sector 
        partner has executed or will execute a technology 
        partnership agreement, to support cooperative 
        development of a technology developed at the Department 
        facility for a specific commercial application of the 
    (d) Applications.--
          (1) In general.--To be eligible to receive funding 
        under the program, a Department facility shall submit 
        to the Secretary an application at such time, in such 
        manner, and containing such information as the 
        Secretary may require.
          (2) Inclusions.--An application under this subsection 
                  (A) include a description of--
                          (i) the potential impact on markets 
                        if the applicable technology is 
                        successfully commercialized;
                          (ii) the intended accomplishments of 
                        the project proposed to be carried out 
                        using the funding with respect to 
                        advancing the maturity and commercial 
                        potential of the applicable technology; 
                          (iii) a project plan, including a 
                        description of each activity required 
                        to be carried out to accomplish the 
                        specific objectives of the project; and
                  (B) demonstrate to the satisfaction of the 
                Secretary that each Department facility and 
                private sector partner involved in the proposed 
                project, and any other resource required to 
                carry out the project, is qualified and capable 
                of successfully completing, and is available to 
                complete, the project, including a description 
                of the roles and responsibilities proposed to 
                be carried out.
          (3) Multiple projects.--A Department facility may 
        submit to the Secretary an application for 1 or more 
        technology maturation projects under the program.
          (4) Approval by secretary.--
                  (A) In general.--The Secretary shall develop 
                criteria for evaluating applications under this 
                subsection, which may include--
                          (i) the potential that a proposed 
                        technology will result in a 
                        commercially successful product within 
                        a reasonable timeframe;
                          (ii) the relative maturity of a 
                        proposed technology for commercial 
                        application; and
                          (iii) the proposed technical approach 
                        and capability of the Department 
                        facilities and private sector partners 
                        to successfully implement a project.
                  (B) Priority.--In selecting applicants to 
                receive funding under the program, the 
                Secretary shall give priority to an application 
                submitted by a partnership between--
                          (i) a Department facility; and
                          (ii) a small business concern.
    (e) Amount of Funding.--The amount provided to a recipient 
for a technology maturation project funded under the program 
shall be not more than--
          (1) $150,000 for an activity described in subsection 
        (c)(1); and
          (2) $750,000 for an activity described in subsection 
    (f) Cost-Sharing Requirements.--The cost-sharing 
requirements of the program, including requirements relating to 
in-kind contributions, shall be determined by the Secretary in 
accordance with section 988.
    (g) Funding.--The Secretary may use to carry out the 
          1(1) amounts in the Energy Technology 
        Commercialization Fund established under section 
        1001(e); or
          (2) any other amounts made available to support 
        technology transfer within the Department.
    (h) Annual Report.--The Secretary shall include in the 
annual report required under section 1001(h)(2) a description 
of the results of the technology maturation projects carried 
out under the program.

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