Federal technology transfer professionals converged on Cleveland in record numbers last week for the first in-person FLC National Meeting since 2019. Just steps away from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s featured exhibit on the Beatles, all our troubles really did seem far away as we rediscovered the benefits of face-to-face learning, networking, strategizing and celebrating.
More than 500 people attended the event, shattering the previous high of 449 for an in-person FLC National Meeting, set at the 2018 gathering in Philadelphia.
View photos of the event here.
Highlights included a full day of sold-out training sessions. T2 for Beginners and Intellectual Property for T2 Professionals covered the basics for attendees who are new to tech transfer, IP or both. Intermediate-level training sessions included the always-popular CRADA Course as well as half-day explorations of negotiations and marketing the lab. Offerings for the most experienced T2 professionals focused on leadership, communications, and developing specific skills for productive interactions with internal and external stakeholders.
Keynote speaker and entrepreneur advocate Candice Matthews Brackeen joined FLC Educate Chair Karen Presley for a compelling Fireside Chat on the challenges and opportunities that businesses face when working with venture capital. During an inspiring second keynote, innovation facilitator John Nottingham of Nottingham Spirk described the role tech transfer plays in disrupting markets through innovation and revealed his process for improving the rate of commercialized patents through Vertical Innovation®.
The event finished with a Town Hall where members of the community were able to help refine the next FLC strategic plan. Chair Linda Burger and Vice Chair John Eisemann led a discussion in which feedback was provided on updates to the organization’s mission, vision and values in addition to goals related to education, communication and facilitating tech transfer partnerships.
A new feature of the 2023 National Meeting was a Demo Room where attendees learned about the products, services and expertise that the meeting’s exhibitors and sponsors bring to tech transfer collaborations. Additional demos showcased FLC resources like the website and the Learning Center, and offered a sneak peek at the updates being made to the FLC Business technology search platform.
Attendees embraced opportunities to applaud and learn from this year’s FLC Award winners throughout the meeting—informative posters, the prestigious Lab Director’s Forum featuring Eric L. Moore from Army DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center, and a panel that explored how today’s tech transfer efforts are setting the stage for commercializing the innovations of tomorrow. And putting an exclamation point on the in-person National Meeting experience was a rocking FLC Awards banquet and gala that honored this year’s 24 winning teams and individuals with fanfare, photo ops and a foot-tapping soundtrack. Highlights of the various award winners will be available in the Digest in the following weeks, but you can learn more about them now by visiting the Awards Publication and the Awards Gallery.
If you weren’t able to join us in Cleveland, or if you’d like to refresh your memory, audio recordings of most sessions will be available on demand on the FLC website. And the Call for Topics for the 2024 National Meeting will open soon, so it’s not too early to start brainstorming.