DC Dispatch

DC Dispatch - August 30, 2017

FY 2018 S&T Budget Status 

With Congress on summer recess, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has provided a status of where we are on the current (FY 2018) science and technology (S&T) budget process.  From its August 1 post, “[W]ith the House heading into the annual August recess and the Senate soon to follow, here’s a look at how things have shaped up, and where they might go. … Certainly, the White House has seen Congress largely ignore its calls for historic reductions to federal science and technology programs. According to rough (very rough) AAAS estimates, current House appropriations would increase federal R&D by 4.8 percent or $7.6 billion above FY 2017 omnibus estimates, with basic and applied research increasing by about 2.5 percent each, slightly ahead of inflation; development spending would grow by even more thanks to large boosts for Department of Defense development activities.  … While House appropriators have moved their full set of twelve annual spending bills through committee, their Senate counterparts still haven’t introduced several of their own, but the legislation they have produced so far has generally topped the House numbers. Missing Senate legislation includes annual bills to fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense (DOD), the two largest funders of R&D in government. It’s worth noting that Senate appropriators were more generous for both agencies at this point in last year’s appropriations.”  See the link for a closer look at specific agency situations.  (Original source: AAAS website)

OMB Releases Guidance Re S&T Priorities for FY 2019

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) have released their annual guidance on federal S&T priorities for the FY 2019 budget cycle.  The Memorandum to agency heads “highlights the Administration’s R&D priority areas for formulating FY 2019 budget submissions to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  These priorities should receive special focus in agency budget requests.  This memorandum also provides additional guidance on balancing new priorities with existing demands, encouraging agencies to focus on R&D investments that best serve the American people and are budget neutral.”  The memo provides guidance under three primary categories: R&D Priority Areas, R&D Priority Practices, and R&D Workforce and Infrastructure.  Although technology transfer or lab-to-market are not called out specifically in the document (as in previous years), the general concept of bringing together public-sector research with private-sector efforts to commercialize innovative technologies is implicit in much of the document.  See the memo for more details.  (Original source: White House website) 

AAAS Seminar in S&T Policy Open for Applications

AAAS is seeking applications for participation in its annual leadership seminar in S&T policy.  From its website, “[T]he AAAS Leadership Seminar in Science and Technology Policy is a ‘crash course’ in science and technology (S&T) policy, designed for those who need to know how S&T policy works.  It is modeled after the highly acclaimed orientation program that AAAS provides for its new S&T Policy Fellows, but distills the key material into 5 days instead of two weeks.  Space is limited to only 30 to 35 participants—the small group setting provides an ideal opportunity to learn about the challenges and solutions of S&T policy from the experts.”  See the post for more details.  Deadline for submission is October 15.  (Original source: AAAS website)

Fun Facts: USPTO on Path for Record in 2017

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is on course to record a new high in patents issued this year.  From a post by the Patently-O blog, “[T]he chart below [see the post] shows the number of utility patents issued each fiscal year going back to 1980.  FY 2017 has 7 weeks remaining. If issuances remain steady, then we’ll see a substantial increase in the number of patents issued over FY 2016.  Importantly, the increase is not due to increased new application filings, but instead reflects the PTO continuing to work through its backlog of pending cases.”  (Original source: Patently-O blog)


Note:  The DC Dispatch is a periodic update of selected items of interest to the FLC and the technology transfer community—current legislation, trends, reports, policy, and other developments potentially affecting technology transfer or related activities—designed to keep the community informed of relevant issues on a timely basis.  Information is gleaned directly from a variety of sources (newsletters, email alerts, websites, direct participation at events from the FLC DC Liaison’s office, etc.), with original sources, contacts and links provided.

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