The past two years as the Chair of the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) have flown by for me, and I am grateful for the opportunity to advance federal technology transfer (T2) nationally alongside the FLC Executive Board members and all of you. As members of the federal T2 community, we work with unwavering dedication to increase innovation, collaboration and the commercialization of federally funded inventions for the benefit of our nation. I am proud of the progress we have made together and am honored to have had the opportunity to play a leadership role in such a strong, vibrant community.
During my tenure, the FLC Executive Board completed the goals in its last strategic plan and established a trajectory for the FLC’s path forward by developing and approving a new strategic plan. The new strategic plan includes a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) goal to ensure that everyone feels welcome and included in FLC activities and in our community. Our nation’s federal laboratories are full of diverse individuals whose talents in science and research are essential to our nation’s future. FLC provides valuable connections to these federal laboratory innovators for entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and regions of the country to drive our nation’s economic growth.
As online experiences continue to expand in our daily lives, the FLC recognizes that one of the primary ways to optimize impact and best serve the federal T2 community is to make our tools and resources available in a digital format. We launched a completely redesigned website in 2022, with improved navigation and user experiences. Key site features, FLC Business and LabTech in Your Life were updated as part of this redesign. These refreshed tools were joined by a powerful new Learning Management System, a digital hub that offers members 24/7 access to our growing library of training courses and resources. To complement the new site and its features, critical federal T2 references, the FLC Green Book and the Desk Reference were transformed into searchable, mobile applications for T2 professionals on the go.
While digital engagement is a growth area, FLC maintains a strong commitment to fostering personal connections and collaborations through a variety of program offerings. Our customer engagements have grown steadily over the past few years. The 2022 National Meeting exceeded our all-time attendance record, with 523 attendees. A new mentoring program launched in 2023 to nurture professional development in our growing field.
Building on these accomplishments, the FLC is poised for continued growth. I am pleased that Whitney Hastings, a Senior Technology Transfer Manager at the National Cancer Institute, will succeed me as Chair. Under her leadership, the FLC will continue to thrive and energize the federal T2 community.
In closing, I extend my deepest appreciation for the incredible journey you have shared with me for the past two years. The FLC's future is brighter than ever, and I am optimistic about the transformative advances that lie ahead of us. Every federal lab truly is a T2 Rock Star, and you all have been an inspiration to me. Let’s keep propelling our nation forward together with federal T2!