AAU Weekly Wrap-up
April 1, 2016
House Small Business Bill Would Increase SBIR/STTR Research Set-asides
Associations Urge House Infant Lives Panel to Protect Individuals’ Information
Regulatory Reform Bills for Research Introduced in House and Senate
Associations Comment on Notice-and-Takedown System for Internet Copyright Infringement
First 2016 Golden Goose Award Winners Announced
HOUSE SMALL BUSINESS BILL WOULD INCREASE SBIR/STTR RESEARCH SET-ASIDES
The House Small Business Committee on March 22 approved legislation
that would increase the set-asides for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs in the
extramural research and development budgets of participating research agencies. The increase is part of a five-year reauthorization bill for the two
programs. Their current authorization runs through FY17.
The Commercializing on Small Business Innovation Act of 2016 (H.R. 4783) would
increase the SBIR set-aside by 0.26 percent each fiscal year from FY18 through FY22, raising the set-aside percentage from 3.2 percent in FY17 to 4.5
percent in FY22. The bill would increase the STTR set-aside by .05 percent for two fiscal years beginning in FY18, raising the percentage set-aside from
.45 percent in FY17 to 0.6 percent in FY22.
H. R. 4783 now goes to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, to which it has also been referred. The Senate Small Business Committee is
expected to draft its own SBIR/STTR reauthorization bill.
ASSOCIATIONS URGE HOUSE INFANT LIVES PANEL TO PROTECT INDIVIDUALS’ INFORMATION
Three associations, including AAU, yesterday sent a letter to the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives detailing concerns about the panel’s
investigation of providers and users of fetal tissue for research.
The letter, signed by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association
of Public and Land-grant Universities, and AAU, expresses concern about reports that the panel intends to issue subpoenas impelling organizations to
release the identities and personal information of researchers and others without a process governing how the panel would use and protect that information.
The letter states:
“We urge the Panel to work in a bipartisan fashion to craft rules for how the Panel intends to use this information and to articulate the specific steps
the Panel is taking to promote the security of these individuals and their institutions. In the absence of such rules, we urge the Panel not to compel the
release of individually identifiable information. We urge you to allow academic institutions to continue their cooperative engagement with the Panel,
providing requested information about practices and the value of fetal tissue research without unnecessarily endangering the safety of those seeking to
advance discovery and improve health.”
REGULATORY REFORM BILLS FOR RESEARCH INTRODUCED IN HOUSE AND SENATE
House and Senate policymakers this week put forward legislation to address the overregulation of research, as recommended in a
report last year by the National Academies
The Senate bill, the
Promoting Biomedical Research and Public Health for Patients Act
, was introduced by Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee leaders Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA). The measure, which
focuses on regulatory issues at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will be marked up in the HELP Committee on April 6.
The House bill, the
University Regulations Streamlining and Harmonizing Act of 2016
by Rep. Dan Lipinksi (D-IL) as a proposed measure, addresses the regulatory burden on research across federal agencies. AAU and the Council on Governmental
Relations jointly endorsed the bill.
ASSOCIATIONS COMMENT ON NOTICE-AND-TAKEDOWN SYSTEM FOR INTERNET COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
AAU joined EDUCAUSE and APLU on March 29 in submitting comments to the U.S. Copyright
Office regarding a provision of copyright law that gives copyright owners a “notice-and-takedown” procedure for challenging online infringement of their
The Copyright Office had requested comments on the provision, Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA), in a Notice of Inquiry issued December 31, 2015.
Section 512 also provides a “safe harbor” that limits the liability of service providers – including colleges and universities that provide network
services to their students, faculty, and staff – that expeditiously remove allegedly infringing content.
The associations’ comments reaffirm that colleges and universities, in their capacity as service providers, take seriously their responsibilities for
Section 512 compliance. They are troubled, however, by the substantial increase over the past few years in the notice-and-takedown requests they receive
from copyright holders and their enforcement agents. Many of the notices, the comments continue, are overreaching and/or contain inaccurate information.
The associations point out that there is no meaningful statutory deterrent for those who send fraudulent or abusive notices that create substantial
resource burdens for the recipients. Their comments urge the Copyright Office to create real remedies for abuses of the system, such as audits or fines.
The associations also ask the Copyright Office to consider reviving an earlier effort to develop a standardized format for notice-and-takedown notices.
Establishing such a format, they write, likely would help rights holders and their enforcement agents generate more complete and accurate notices.
FIRST 2016 GOLDEN GOOSE AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Five researchers who have led a highly influential longitudinal study of adolescent health are the
first 2016 winners
of the Golden Goose Award. The award, which was founded in 2012 by a coalition of organizations, including AAU, honors scientists whose federally funded
work may have seemed odd or obscure when it was first conducted but has resulted in significant benefits to society.
The researchers—Drs. Peter Bearman, Barbara Entwisle, Kathleen Mullan Harris, Ronald Rindfuss, and Richard Udry—worked at the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill in the late 1980s and early 1990s to design and execute the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, or Add Health for short. As described in the
“The social scientists’ landmark federally funded study has not only illuminated the impact of social and environmental factors on adolescent health—often
in unanticipated ways—but also continues to help shape the national conversation around human health. Their work has provided unanticipated insights into
how adolescent health affects wellbeing long into adulthood and has laid essential groundwork for research into the nation’s obesity epidemic over the past
Team member Barbara Entwisle is also UNC-Chapel Hill’s vice chancellor for research.
The team will be honored with two other groups of researchers—yet to be announced—at the fifth annual Golden Goose Award Ceremony at the Library of
Congress on September 22. Information about the award and past winners can be found on the Golden Goose Award website.
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