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42 U.S. Code § 19110 - Test beds

(a) Program authorized
(1) In general

From amounts made available for the Directorate, the Director, in coordination with the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Secretary of Energy, and other Federal agencies, as determined appropriate by the Director, shall establish a program in the Directorate to make awards, on a competitive basis, to institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, or consortia thereof to establish and operate test beds, which may include fabrication facilities and cyberinfrastructure, to advance the development, operation, integration, deployment, and, as appropriate, demonstration of new, innovative critical technologies, which may include hardware or software.

(2) Coordination

In establishing new test beds under this section, the Director shall ensure coordination with other test beds supported by the Foundation or other Federal agencies to avoid duplication and maximize the use of Federal resources.

(b) ProposalsAn applicant for an award under this section shall submit a proposal to the Director, at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Director may reasonably require. The proposal shall, at a minimum, describe—
the technology or technologies that will be the focus of the test bed;
the goals of the work to be done at the test bed;
how the applicant will assemble a workforce with the skills needed to operate the test bed;
how the applicant will ensure broad access to the test bed;
how the applicant will collaborate with firms in critical technologies, including through coordinated research and development and funding, to ensure that work in the test bed will contribute to the commercial viability of any technologies and will include collaboration from industry and labor organizations;
how the applicant will encourage the participation of inventors and entrepreneurs and the development of new businesses;
how the applicant will increase participation by populations that are underrepresented in STEM;
how the applicant will demonstrate that the commercial viability of any new technologies will support the creation of high-quality domestic jobs;
how the test bed will operate after Federal funding has ended;
how the test bed will disseminate lessons and other technical information to United States entities or allied or partner country entities in the United States; and
how the applicant plans to take measures to prevent the inappropriate use of research results, data, and intellectual property, as applicable and consistent with the requirements of the award.
(c) Authorized use of funds

A recipient of an award under this section may, consistent with the purposes of this section, use the award for the purchase of equipment and for the support of students, faculty and staff, and postdoctoral researchers.

(d) Geographic diversity

In selecting award recipients under this section, the Director shall consider the extent to which proposals would expand the geographic diversity of test beds.