The Secretary of Transportation may make contracts with educational institutions, public and private agencies and organizations, and persons for scientific or technological research into a problem related to programs carried out by the Secretary. Before making a contract, the Secretary must require the institution, agency, organization, or person to show that it is able to carry out the contract.
In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall—
give advice and assistance the Secretary believes will best carry out the duties and powers of the Secretary;
participate in coordinating all research started under this section;
indicate the lines of inquiry most important to the Secretary; and
encourage and assist in establishing and maintaining cooperation by and between contractors and between them and other research organizations, the Department of Transportation, and other departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States Government.
The Secretary may distribute publications containing information the Secretary considers relevant to research carried out under this section.
The Secretary shall provide for the following:
Coordination, facilitation, and review of Department of Transportation research and development programs and activities.
Advancement, and research and development, of innovative technologies, including intelligent transportation systems.
Comprehensive transportation statistics research, analysis, and reporting.
Education and training in transportation and transportation-related fields.
Activities of the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center.
Coordination in support of multimodal and multidisciplinary research activities.
The Secretary may—
enter into grants and cooperative agreements with Federal agencies, State and local government agencies, other public entities, private organizations, and other persons to conduct research into transportation service and infrastructure assurance and to carry out other research activities of the Department of Transportation;
carry out, on a cost-shared basis, collaborative research and development to encourage innovative solutions to multimodal transportation problems and stimulate the deployment of new technology with—
non-Federal entities, including State and local governments, foreign governments, institutions of higher education, corporations, institutions, partnerships, sole proprietorships, and trade associations that are incorporated or established under the laws of any State;
Federal laboratories; and
other Federal agencies; and
directly initiate contracts, grants, cooperative research and development agreements (as defined in section 12(d) of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3710a(d))), and other agreements to fund, and accept funds from, the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, State departments of transportation, cities, counties, institutions of higher education, associations, and the agents of those entities to carry out joint transportation research and technology efforts.
Subject to paragraph (2), the Federal share of the cost of an activity carried out under subsection (e)(3) shall not exceed 50 percent.
If the Secretary determines that the activity is of substantial public interest or benefit, the Secretary may approve a greater Federal share.
All costs directly incurred by the non-Federal partners, including personnel, travel, facility, and hardware development costs, shall be credited toward the non-Federal share of the cost of an activity described in subsection (e)(3).
For each of fiscal years 2016 through 2020, the Secretary is authorized to expend not more than 1 ½ percent of the amounts authorized to be appropriated for the coordination, evaluation, and oversight of the programs administered by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology.
Program Evaluation and Oversight.—
The research, development, or use of a technology under a contract, grant, cooperative research and development agreement, or other agreement entered into under this section, including the terms under which the technology may be licensed and the resulting royalties may be distributed, shall be subject to the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.).
Use of Technology.—
Section 6101 of title 41 shall not apply to a contract, grant, or other agreement entered into under this section.
Waiver of Advertising Requirements.—
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2427; Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title VI, § 6011(b), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1568.)