DC Dispatch

DC Dispatch - March 18, 2016

DC Dispatch

House Budget Hearing on DOE Activities

(Mentioned tech transferring and “Finding Ernie”)

DOE tech transfer was addressed briefly: in a recent House budget hearing. The House Appropriations Committee, Subc. On Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies, hearing on March 2, focused on multiple topics, including tech transfer. From a summary by AIP (you can view the entire webcast on the hearing link), “[M]embers of a House appropriations subcommittee did not appear to oppose any major thrusts of the president’s fiscal year 2017 budget request for the Office of Science. Rather, members of both parties largely focused on longer-term efforts, expressing keen interest in the Department of Energy's plans for upgrading user facilities, developing exascale computing capabilities, and improving technology transfer.” Regarding tech transfer, “[Orr, DOE Under Secretary for Science and Energy, in response to a question from Rep. Kaptur, D-OH, about how the labs can play a role beyond their boundaries, outlined] a series of actions DOE has recently taken to improve technology transfer between the labs and industry. These include establishing an Office of Technology Transitions in charge of a Technology Commercialization Fund and a Clean Energy Investment Center to make it easier for industry to ‘see more quickly into the national lab system for ideas they might want to engage upon.’” See the link for the ‘finding Ernie’ reference. (Original Sources: House Appropriations web site, AIP web site)

National Medal of Technology and Innovation

(USPTO seeks nominations, Federal lab or agency folks are eligible)

The USPTO is seeking nominations for: the National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI), “the nation’s highest honor for technological achievement, bestowed by the president of the United States on America's leading innovators.” From their web site, “[T]he medal is awarded annually to individuals, teams (up to four individuals), companies or divisions of companies for their outstanding contributions to America’s economic, environmental and social well-being. The purpose of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation is to recognize those who have made lasting contributions to America's competitiveness, standard of living, and quality of life through technological innovation, and to recognize those who have made substantial contributions to strengthening the nation's technological workforce.” Regarding eligibility, the guidelines state “[I]ndividuals or teams from a national laboratory or government agency are eligible for nomination; however, a national laboratory or government agency as an organization is not eligible for consideration.” Deadline for nominations is April 1 (apologies for the late notice, missed it when it came out a month ago). See the link for details. (Original Sources: USPTO web site)

New From NSF

Updates on FFRDCs

FFRDC Research and Development Survey: Fiscal Year 2014 provides data “on R&D expenditures for federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) from the FY 2014 FFRDC Research and Development Survey. Expenditures data are displayed for individually named FFRDCs, by source of funding, type of administrator, and character of work.” (Original Sources: NSF web site)

Federally Funded R&D Centers Report Little Growth in R&D Spending in FY 2014 notes that the “nation's 41 federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) spent $17.7 billion on R&D in FY 2014. This was a 0.3% increase over the FY 2013 total. Eighteen of the FFRDCs reported declines from FY 2013.” (Original Sources: NSF web site)

Update on U.S. Business Innovation: Findings from 2011 Survey provides information on the “incidence of innovation” in “an estimated 1.2 million for-profit companies, publicly or privately held, that have five or more employees and are active in the United States in 2011.” The report finds that “a total of 103,000 of these companies (8%) were in manufacturing; most, 1.1 million companies (92%), were in nonmanufacturing. …. Twenty-nine percent of the 103,000 companies classified as manufacturing … reported one or more product or process innovations in 2009–11: 22% reported product innovations, and 21% reported process innovations.” (Original Sources: NSF web site)

Pan-European Patent Court Coming Soon (Maybe)

According to a post: in Patently-O, “[W]ithin the next few months, the Preparatory Committee [for a Unified Patent Court – UPC] will wrap-up its activities and we will then await ratification by the member nations.  … That process is likely to be concluded this summer as well.  If that schedule goes forward then the UPC may be open-for-business for the start of 2017.” From the post, “[O]nce in operation, the Unified Patent Court will allow owners of European patents to use a single court action to enforce a patent across Europe.” (Original Sources: Patently-O blog)

AAAS Update on FY 2017 Budget Request

The AAAS Budget and Policy Program has released: a report preview of its Guide to the President’s Budget: Research and Development FY 2017. The preview provides an introduction and overview of science agency funding proposals – including a look at mandatory and discretionary spending – and recap of the fiscal situation coming into the FY 2017 budget cycle. AAAS will publish the full annual report on R&D in the President’s budget later this month, on or around March 21.” You can also see recent AAAS slide decks on R&D in the President’s request. New slides will be provided in the upcoming Guide. (Original Sources: AAAS web site)

Spotlight on Member Agency: DOT T2 Primer

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center recently released: a brief primer on technology transfer and how it could be integrated with the transportation research and development process. From the paper, titled Building a Foundation for Effective Technology Transfer through Integration with the Research Process, the purpose of the primer is to “increase the effectiveness of T2 activity in transportation by describing how T2 practices can be successfully integrated into the research process to capture the potential real-world benefits of our community’s research investment.” If you have comments or would like to discuss how this may apply to your research, contact the DOT tech transfer staff at TechTransfer@dot.gov. (Original Sources: DOT web site)

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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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