During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (DEVCOM CBC) played a key role in federal pandemic response efforts, despite not having a mission directly related to public health. Like many of DEVCOM CBC’s successes, those contributions to public safety were possible because of Dr. Eric Moore, the laboratory’s director, and his commitment to technology transfer (T2).
That commitment has been evident since Moore’s appointment as director in 2017. Almost immediately, Moore quickly pushed for a stronger and more proactive T2 culture among the Army laboratory’s research and development programs and its 1,400-plus personnel.
“Technology transfer is one of my top priority areas, to the extent that I moved [CBC’s Strategic Initiatives Group and Technology Transfer Office] to directly report to me,” Moore said. “This is to ensure we really focus our efforts on what we do for technology transfer.”
Professional experience in science, technology, research and testing gained during Moore’s 30-year federal career has informed his leadership of DEVCOM CBC and his commitment to its technology transfer efforts. But his personal involvement is what sets him apart. Moore promotes tech transfer consistently, through daily conversations, public speaking engagements and internal lab activities. He facilitates T2 discussions by pulling together prospective partners from industry, academic institutions, and other government agencies to meet with him, his science and technology experts, and T2 staff.
Moore fully supports laboratory workforce training programs, such as an in-house series of virtual events called “T2 and You: Supporting Warfighter Wins through the Development of Creative Innovation Partnerships.” Topics include training on technology transfer mechanisms, intellectual property, and working with industry and other external stakeholders.
Moore has also had a hands-on role in creating start-up companies to commercialize DEVCOM CBC technologies and in establishing relationships with Minority Serving Institutions and other academic institutions to help build a tech-savvy workforce for the future.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, one of Moore’s first actions was to designate subject matter experts (SMEs) to work closely with T2 staff in preparation for testing of N95 respirators, surgical masks, and other products and materials.
Within seven months, DEVCOM CBC formed more than 70 technology transfer agreements, about half of which were specifically related to the pandemic. Emergency Use Simple Letter Agreements (EUSLA) for material transfer were used to obtain SARS-CoV-2 virus samples for DEVCOM CBC research use, and a Technology Support Agreement (TSA) with a standardized Statement of Work and cost schedule expedited testing.
Those efforts led to positive outcomes for the economy as well as for public health and safety. Between 2000 and 2021DEVCOM CBC’s total economy-wide impact included more than $500 million in output, nearly 2000 jobs created and labor income of $88,000 per job.
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