The Secretary shall establish distributed, multidisciplinary institutes (referred to in this section as “Institutes”) centered at National Laboratories to apply fundamental science and engineering discoveries to technological innovations relating to—
(1)the missions of the Department; and
(2)the global competitiveness of the United States.
(b) Topical areas
The Institutes shall support scientific and engineering research and education activities on critical emerging technologies determined by the Secretary to be essential to global competitiveness, including activities relating to—
(1)sustainable energy technologies;
(2)multiscale materials and processes;
(3)micro- and nano-engineering;
(4)computational and information engineering; and
(5)genomics and proteomics.
In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall establish partnerships between the Institutes and—
(1)institutions of higher education—
(A)to train undergraduate and graduate science and engineering students;
(B)to develop innovative undergraduate and graduate educational curricula; and
(C)to conduct research within the topical areas described in subsection (b); and
(2)private industry to develop innovative technologies within the topical areas described in subsection (b).
(1) In general
For each fiscal year, the Secretary may select not more than 3 Institutes to receive a grant under this section.
(2) Merit-based selection
The selection of Institutes under paragraph (1) shall be—
(B)made through an open, competitive selection process.
An Institute shall receive a grant under this section for not more than 3 fiscal years.
The Secretary shall offer to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences under which the Academy shall, by not later than 3 years after August 9, 2007—
(1)review the performance of the Institutes under this section; and
(2)submit to Congress and the Secretary a report describing the results of the review.
(f) Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to provide grants to each Institute selected under this section $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2010.
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