DC Dispatch

DC Dispatch - July 15, 2016

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Notice of Proposed Rule Making – Personnel Exchanges

NIST is seeking comments: on “proposed regulations intended to foster the exchange of scientific and technical personnel among academia, industry, including particularly small businesses, and Federal laboratories.” From the Federal Register Notice, “[S]uch exchanges are an effective means for accelerating the transfer of Federal laboratory technology to benefit the United States economy. An objective of this rulemaking is to clarify the appropriate use of Cooperative Research and Development Agreement authority by a Federal laboratory for personnel exchanges where the Federal laboratory has an existing relationship with the potential partner through another legal mechanism, as well as in the context of joint research projects or the development of existing laboratory technology, and through use of the General Services Administration's Presidential Innovation Fellows program for Federal laboratory Entrepreneur-in-Residence programs. Another objective of this rulemaking is to remove outdated regulations addressing the licensing of inventions owned by the Department of Commerce. When the comment period is concluded, NIST will analyze the comments received, incorporate comments as appropriate, and publish a final regulation.” Deadline for comments is July 27. (Original Sources: Federal Register web site)

White House Report on STI Leadership 

The Administration has just released: a “list of 100 examples of the profound impact that the President’s leadership has had in building U.S. capacity in science, technology, and innovation and bringing that capacity to bear on national goals. The release of this list marks the milestone of Dr. John Holdren becoming, on June 18, 2016, the longest-serving President’s Science Advisor since Vannevar Bush pioneered a similar role while serving Presidents Roosevelt and Truman during and after World War II.” The list, titled Impact Report: 100 Examples of President Obama’s Leadership in Science, Technology, and Innovation, ranges from specific policy decisions to structural changes within the science infrastructure of the administration to personnel decisions designed to better facilitate the STI mission – and is presented under an overarching framework of categories such as: expanding science, technology and innovation capacity and impact across government; funding and incentivizing R&D; promoting innovation nationwide; strengthening STEM education and workforce training; and many more. The list explicitly calls out recent ‘lab to market’ efforts beginning with the 2011 Presidential memorandum on commercializing federal lab technology to expanding NSF’s I-Corps entrepreneurship training program to startup accelerator programs and challenges at several agencies, among others. (Original Sources: White House web site) 

DOE Tech Commercialization Fund (TCF) Program 

The DOE Office of Tech Transition (OTT) recently announced: awarding “nearly $16 million in funding to help businesses move promising energy technologies from DOE’s National Laboratories to the marketplace.” From the press release, “[T]his first Department-wide round of funding through the Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) will support 54 projects at 12 national labs involving 58 private-sector partners. The TCF is administered by DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT), which works to expand the commercial impact of DOE’s portfolio of research, development, demonstration and deployment activities. In February of 2016, OTT announced the first solicitation to the DOE National Laboratories for TCF funding proposals. It received 104 applications from across the laboratory system, for projects in two topic areas:

  • Topic Area 1: Projects for which additional technology maturation is needed to attract a private partner; and
  • Topic Area 2: Cooperative development projects between a lab and industry partner(s), designed to bolster the commercial application of a lab developed technology.

All projects selected for the TCF will receive an equal amount of non-federal funds to match the federal investment.” See the link for a complete list of labs and technologies selected. (Original Sources: DOE OTT web site)

New From NSF 

Federally Funded R&D Centers

NSF has released its latest master list: of Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs). Their Master List of Federally Funded R&D Centers: FY 2016 identified 42 facilities recognized as FFRDCs, and provides detailed information on each, including sponsoring agency, who administers them, and the general types of activities conducted there. (Originals Sources: NSF web site)

…. and speaking of FFRDCs, tech commercialization and FLC meetings …

Allied Minds and The MITRE Corporation recently announced: an “agreement that gives Allied Minds a first look and exclusive access to certain technologies in MITRE’s intellectual property (IP) portfolio that are of interest to Allied Minds.” From an article in Business Wire, “[T]he deal expands the Allied Minds-MITRE partnership announced in March 2014, which focused on licensing innovations from MITRE that led to the formation of Allied Minds subsidiary Percipient Networks. Under this agreement, Allied Minds, through its subsidiary Allied Minds Federal Innovations (AMFI), will have the first opportunity to review AMFI-relevant intellectual property with an aim to license the IP into companies formed by AMFI. (Note: MITRE operates multiple FFRDCs for DOD, DHS, DHHS, VA, DOT and DOC/NIST – and in full disclosure, Allied Minds has been a sponsor at FLC events and provided a keynoter for the 2014 FLC national meeting). (Original Sources: Business Wire online)

Candidate Clinton’s Technology & Innovation Agenda

Hillary Clinton, presumptive Democratic nominee for President, has released: a “Tech & Innovation Agenda with five key parts.” From her web site, “[F]irst, her plan will leverage technology to create good-paying jobs on Main Street—through new commitments in computer science and STEM education, support for entrepreneurial ecosystems, and other policies to build the human capital pipeline. Second, her plan will deliver high-speed broadband to all Americans, hook up public places like airports and stations—and enable them to offer free WiFi—and lay the groundwork for the next generation of the mobile internet and the Internet of Things. Third, her agenda will ensure America remains the global leader in technology, by promoting more high-tech exports and ensuring the free flow of data. Fourth, her plan will establish rules of the road to support innovation—rules that foster healthy competition, reduce barriers to entry, and effectively protect intellectual property—while safeguarding privacy and security. Fifth, her plan will make our government smarter, more efficient, and more responsive, using new technologies to deliver real results for the American people.” See the link for plan specifics. See comments and reactions from IP-Watchdog blog,

Inside Higher Education, and SSTI. I have not yet seen a similar plan from the presumptive Republican nominee, but will gladly include it in this space when published. (Original Sources: Clinton web site, SSTI web site, IP-Watchdog web site, Inside Higher Ed web site)

Supreme Court Updates

Patently-O notes: that “the Supreme Court has completed its patent law business for the 2015 term and will re-open decision making in September 2016.  Briefing and new filings will, however, continue throughout the summer.” See the following late June (end of term) updates on Supreme Court actions related to patent issues provided by Patently-O. Supreme Court Denies Sequenom Petition: Alice and Mayo Remain, Supreme Court to Decide Patent Export Case: Life Tech v. Promega, and Supreme Court Patent Report: End of Term 2015. (Original Sources: Patently-O blog)


Note: The DC Dispatch is a periodic update of selected items of interest to the FLC and technology transfer community -- i.e., 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, web sites, direct participation at events from the FLC DC Representative’s office, etc.) -- with original sources, contacts and links provided.

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