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Federal Labs Power Regional Economies, White House Says


Earlier this month, stakeholders strategized and bonded at aWhite House-hostedforum to explore and amplify the ways that laboratory innovation fuels regional economic growth.

At the White House Forum on Connecting Regional Innovation Ecosystems With Federal Labs, federal laboratory directors, as well asuniversities and state and local economic development officials, came together to forge new plans andrelationships tohelp industryusethe labs' expertise and resources to support their businesses and promote economic growth in their regions.

The forum enabled these leaders to discover new models that some agencies are using to accelerate commercialization and explore the ways those models could work for them, and to foster relationships between labs and economic development groups.

Jason Miller, the National Economic Council's Deputy Director; Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation at the Office of Science and Technology Policy; andAli Zaidi of the Office of Management and Budget wrote about the highlights that demonstrate the labs' impact.They cited innovative models that come fromacross the federal laboratory community, like the AFRL entrepreneurship-opportunity program, NASA's work with companies in its labs' regions, small business voucher programs, incentive prizes at the Department of Commerce, DOE facilities and public-private partnerships that help researchers and businesses, and the expansion of the I-Corps program at NIH.

“Turning research discoveries into new products, new jobs, and even new industries does not happen automatically—it requires collaboration across federal departments and agencies with industry, academia, and entrepreneurs,” Miller, Kalil, and Zaidiwrote. "Such efforts will continue to connect communities, industries, and entrepreneurs with the treasure trove of expertise resident at our federal labs; will encourage research institutions inside and outside of government to focus their R and D commercialization activities primarily on longer-term public and economic benefit, rather than the immediate generation of patent royalties; and will ultimately increase the economic impact of America’s essential investments in innovation."

To learn more, read the whole thing at the White House Blog.

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