In February, the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) launched the second generation FLC Business site. FLC Business is a single place for the public to learn about the facilities, programs, and funding of more than 300 federal laboratories. In 2015, the FLC worked with 18F, an office within the General Services Administration (GSA) that collaborates with other agencies to fix technical problems, build products, and improve how government serves the public through technology. The FLC and 18F held an all-day prototyping workshop to tackle a large-scale problem in the technology transfer realm — disparate and unorganized data. The FLC followed the Presidential Memorandum on lab-to-market initiatives as well as data.gov mandates to find a solution to bring laboratory and available technology data together into a searchable site. Meeting with 18F allowed the FLC to go down the path to build a technology stack that meets U.S. digital standards. The result met federal guidelines while being highly effective with non-federal stakeholders. During the workshop, 18F helped the FLC identify the following goals:
The session with 18F helped define the best method and overall architecture for the product to ensure we could continue to grow in the future. At 18F’s recommendation, the FLC adopted agile development processes and human-centered design for this project to help manage the fluid nature of the development work. Further, the concept of simplicity helped create the intuitive interface that sits on FLC Business today. Lastly, 18F confirmed that using segregated cloud infrastructure and APIs to deliver data to third parties would be critical to the success of the project. Working with 18F helped the FLC create the largest collection of federal laboratory data and technology resources available online. FLC Business provides a hub not only to federal laboratories showcasing their work and knowledge, but also to industry professionals looking to further their research and development to change the commercial landscape. Find out more from 18F.