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42 U.S. Code § 18653 - Office of Science Biological Threat Preparedness Research Initiative

(a) In general

The Secretary shall establish within the Office of Science a cross-cutting research initiative, to be known as the “Biological Threat Preparedness Research Initiative”, to leverage the innovative analytical resources and tools, user facilities, and advanced computational and networking capabilities of the Department in order to support efforts that prevent, prepare for, predict, and respond to biological threats to national security, including infectious diseases.

(b) Competitive, merit-reviewed process

The Secretary shall carry out the initiative established under subsection (a) through a competitive, merit-reviewed process, and consider applications from National Laboratories, institutions of higher education, multi-institutional collaborations, industry partners and other appropriate entities.

(c) ActivitiesIn carrying out the initiative established under subsection (a), the Secretary shall—
determine a comprehensive set of technical milestones for the research activities described in that subsection;
(2) prioritize the objectives of—
supporting fundamental research and development in advanced analytics, experimental studies, materials synthesis, and high-performance computing technologies needed in order to more quickly and effectively characterize, model, simulate, and predict complex natural phenomena and biological materials related to emerging biological threats;
supporting the development of tools that inform epidemiological modeling, and applying artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other computing tools to accelerate such processes;
supporting research and capabilities that enhance understanding and modeling of the transport of pathogens in indoor and outdoor air and water environments;
identifying priority research opportunities and capabilities for molecular design and modeling for medical countermeasures;
ensuring that new experimental and computational tools are accessible to relevant research communities, including private sector entities and other Federal research institutions; and
supporting activities and projects that combine computational modeling and simulation with experimental research facilities and studies;
leverage the research infrastructure of the Department, including scientific computing user facilities, x-ray light sources, neutron scattering facilities, nanoscale science research centers, and sequencing and biocharacterization facilities;
leverage experience from existing modeling and simulation research and work sponsored by the Department and promote collaboration and data sharing between National Laboratories, research entities, and user facilities of the Department by providing necessary access and secure data transfer capabilities; and
ensure that new experimental and computational tools are accessible to relevant research communities, including private sector entities, to address emerging biological threats.
(d) CoordinationIn carrying out the initiative established under subsection (a), the Secretary shall coordinate activities with—
other relevant offices of the Department;
the National Nuclear Security Administration;
the National Laboratories;
the Director of the National Science Foundation;
the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
the Director of the National Institutes of Health;
the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response;
the heads of other relevant Federal agencies;
institutions of higher education; and
the private sector.
(e) Infectious Diseases High Performance Computing Research Consortium
(1) In general

The Secretary, in coordination with the Director of the National Science Foundation and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, shall establish and operate an Emerging Infectious Diseases High Performance Computing Research Consortium (referred to in this section as the “Consortium”), to support the initiative established under subsection (a) by providing, to the extent practicable, a centralized entity for multidisciplinary, collaborative, emerging infectious disease and biosecurity research and development through high performance computing and advanced data analytics technologies and processes, in conjunction with the experimental research facilities and studies supported by the Department.

(2) Membership

The members of the Consortium may include representatives from relevant Federal agencies, the National Laboratories, the private sector, and institutions of higher education, which can each contribute relevant compute time, capabilities, or other resources.

(3) ActivitiesThe Consortium shall—
match applicants with available Federal and private sector computing resources;
consider supplemental awards for computing partnerships with Consortium members to qualifying entities on a competitive merit-review basis;
encourage collaboration and communication among member representatives of the Consortium and awardees;
provide access to the high-performance computing capabilities, expertise, and user facilities of the Department and the National Laboratories; and
(E) submit an annual report to the Secretary summarizing the activities of the Consortium, including—
describing each project undertaken by the Consortium;
detailing organizational expenditures; and
evaluating contributions to the achievement of technical milestones as determined in subsection (a).
(4) Coordination

The Secretary shall ensure the coordination of, and avoid unnecessary duplication of, the activities of the Consortium with the activities of other research entities of the Department, other Federal research institutions, institutions of higher education, and the private sector.

(f) ReportNot later than 2 years after August 9, 2022, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate, a report detailing the effectiveness of—
the interagency coordination among each Federal agency involved in the initiative established under subsection (a);
the collaborative research achievements of that initiative, including the achievement of the technical milestones determined under that subsection; and
potential opportunities to expand the technical capabilities of the Department.
(g) Funding

Out of funds authorized to be appropriated for the Office of Science in a fiscal year, there is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out the activities under this section $50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2023 through 2027.