Federal innovation and commercialization
Who we are
The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) is the formally chartered, nationwide network of over 300 federal laboratories, agencies, and research centers, that fosters commercialization, best practice strategies, and opportunities, for accelerating federal technologies out of the labs and into the marketplace.
Through American taxpayers’ investment in our federal laboratories’ research and development (R&D) efforts, scientific and technological breakthroughs can take place and return dividends to our economy. New industries, businesses, and jobs that can be created, when a new technology is brought to market, are just a few of the successes that take effect through technology transfer (T2), and the FLC is here to promote, facilitate, and educate labs and industry about that process.
Our mission: Maximum impact
Every federal agency has a mission, and each lab’s technology transfer efforts are intended to help achieve that mission. By helping to facilitate federal technology transfer, the FLC is also supporting each agency’s mission.
In addition, the FLC has its own mission: To increase the impact of federal laboratories’ technology transfer for the benefit of the U.S. economy, society, and national security.
Measures of mission effectiveness
Outcomes used to measure the impact of federal technology transfer include:
- Number of inventions disclosed and patents issued. These indicate a lab’s commitment to protecting its intellectual property, which can be attractive to a prospective partner.
- Number of licenses giving a partner access to a lab’s technology. The specific terms of a license provide incentives for the partner to invest the resources needed to develop and commercialize the technology.
- Income from licenses. This can include royalties, license issue fees, minimum annual royalties, paid-up license fees, and reimbursement for goods and services provided by the lab to the licensee, including patent costs. Income from licenses is typically reinvested in a lab’s research and development efforts, which in turn promotes future technology transfer opportunities.
- Number of agreements with nonfederal partners. These can include research collaboration agreements (RCAs), cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs), user facility agreements, material transfer agreements (MTAs), educational partnership agreements (EPAs), and partnership intermediary agreements (PIAs).
Executing the mission
The FLC increases the impact of federal technology transfer by:
- Promoting federal R&D and the significant economic benefits of tech transfer among government, industry, academia, and other external partners. The FLC promotes federal T2 activities and successes through the FLC awards program, Labs in Action, the FLC Planner, and Lab Tech in Your Life.
- Educating federal tech transfer professionals and their partners about commercialization strategies through training opportunities and reference materials. The FLC offers in-person and online training for anyone—from novice to expert—to expand their T2 knowledge for improved understanding and easy navigation of the federal commercialization process.
- Facilitating federal laboratories’ tech transfer goals via FLC-created tools and services that enable a partnership-driven path for getting technologies from lab to market. The FLC makes prospective partners aware of federal technologies available for licensing and facilitates connections between federal labs and nonfederal partners.
Evolving toward a vision
The FLC’s vision is to be the premier federal tech transfer organization. In 2019, the consortium implemented a strategic plan to guide us. FLC will adjust this in response to changing circumstances and formally revise the plan every five years.
The FLC is a one-stop shop for all things related to federal tech transfer:
- a community that encourages discussion and sharing of ideas among federal tech transfer professionals,
- a resource for training designed specifically for federal tech transfer professionals,
- an advocate who communicates federal tech transfer successes to other labs and agencies, prospective partners, policy makers and the public,
- a comprehensive database of federal technologies that are available for licensing,
- a matchmaking service for federal labs to find the right partner for commercializing each of their technologies, and
- a repository of materials that federal tech transfer professionals can use to explain the value of tech transfer to prospective partners, lab leadership, and policy makers.