WASHINGTON—The bandwagon on Capitol Hill to boost American competitiveness has breathed new life into proposals to place federal science agencies under one roof.

In recent weeks, Rep. George E. Brown Jr. (D-Calif.) has reintroduced bills to create a federal Department of Science and Technology and a new agency, the National Policy and Technology Foundation, to coordinate research and efforts to translate knowledge into products. Brown has introduced similar measures in the past, without notable success.

This year, however, his is not the only voice. Rep. Don Ritter (RPa.) and Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.) have sponsored legislation to coordinate technology activities in the Department of Commerce so the National Bureau of Standards can help industries market the fruits of their research.

Few political observers are betting that the measures will become law in this session. Brown's proposals face strong opposition from fiscal conservatives, who are reluctant to create a new...

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