The Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) helps federal labs maximize the awareness and impact of federal technology transfer (T2). One of the ways we work to increase impact is by ensuring all parties are welcomed and included.
Our nation’s federal laboratories—major economic engines that span every aspect of federal government work—are full of diverse individuals who represent a treasure trove of potential innovation and technical leadership. Diversity extends far beyond visible differences; whether our nation is competing economically or technically, we are at our strongest when we have access to all our nation’s talent and capabilities.
Last year, the FLC documented its commitment to making sure everyone can participate in its federal T2 activities by issuing a policy on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA). This year, the FLC is strengthening that commitment by including a goal specific to DEIA in our new Strategic Plan, which we expect to be approved in July. We need to use our differences to solve problems creatively and expand opportunities.
We all know this intrinsically, as it is evidenced by the critical contributions made by diverse groups in times of clear national crisis. Native American Code Talkers enabled secure military communications during both World Wars, and Manhattan Project scientists represented both genders and multiple ethnic minorities. These two examples are the tip of the proverbial iceberg demonstrating how Americans of all backgrounds and abilities have served—and continue to serve—our nation. We need that same, full level of engagement to drive our nation’s technical achievement and economic development today.
Federal labs represent the government’s investment in unique facilities and equipment, world-renowned subject matter expertise, and engines for the development of innovative discoveries.
It is exciting to expand knowledge of and participation in federal T2, especially with those who appreciate the growth opportunities it represents. All are welcome to participate in bringing our nation’s innovations into the marketplace, and the FLC is prepared to share information about the exciting opportunities presented by our federal labs. We’d love to hear how your lab is making technology transfer more diverse and inclusive; email us at [email protected].