DC Dispatch - May 12, 2017

DC Dispatch - May 12, 2017

Final FY 2017 Appropriations Passed

(R&D Budget Does Well)

The President has now signed: the final FY2017 appropriations bill funding the government through the end of September.  The omnibus bill (HR 244) provides for over $1 trillion in discretionary spending, including Federal R&D spending, which appears to have fared well.  According to AAAS, the bill will “increase federal R&D by five percent above FY 2016 levels, with increases for basic and applied research, development, and R&D facilities funding. … The current AAAS estimate of total R&D in the omnibus is $155.8 billion, an increase of 5.0 percent above FY 2016 levels, with a somewhat larger increase for defense R&D. This includes increases of 4.1 percent for basic research, 6.3 percent for applied research, 4.0 percent for development, and 2.9 percent for facilities and equipment. … The current estimate puts federal R&D at 0.81 percent of GDP, representing a small uptick on that metric, and the highest it has been since the year prior to sequestration, the across-the-board cuts levied on federal agencies in FY 2013.”  See the link for details on specific agency R&D budget, as well as summaries provided by AIP and SSTI.  (Original Sources: AAAS, AIP, SSTI web sites)

DOE Small Business Voucher Pilot

The Department of Energy recently announced: collaborations with 38 small businesses through its Small Business Voucher (SBV) pilot program.  From the press release, “[SBV] facilitates access to the DOE national labs for American small businesses, enabling them to tap into the intellectual and technical resources they need to overcome critical technology challenges for their advanced energy products and gain a global competitive advantage.  … The eight DOE national laboratories participating in the new round of collaborations are home to some of the most advanced, cutting edge facilities in the world, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, Argonne National Laboratory's Prototype Cell Fabrication Facility, and Sandia National Laboratories’ Scaled Wind Farm Technology Facility.  Small businesses developing advanced technologies often need unique facilities and experts to test, develop, and validate their innovative products.  DOE national labs house these capabilities, but accessing the labs is a challenge most small businesses can’t overcome. SBV facilitates access to the DOE national labs for qualified small businesses by making the contracting process simple, lab practices transparent, and the labs’ unique facilities available.”  See the link for more details on the DOE SBV program.  (Original Sources: DOE web site)

House Cmtes Held Joint SBIR/STTR Hearing

The House Committees on Science and Small Business recently convened: a joint hearing titled “Improving the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs”.  From the hearing charter, the purpose of the hearing was to address potential “legislation making minor adjustments and improvements to the programs in 2017. The objectives of these initiatives include expansion of commercialization of federally-funded small business research and development, stimulation of technological innovation in the small business sector, and increased use of this community to meet the government’s diverse research and development needs.” Witnesses and panelists included Joe Shepard (Associate Administrator, Office of Investment and Innovation, U.S. SBA), John Neumann (Director, Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. GAO), John Clanton (CEO, Lynntech, Inc.), Dr. John S. Langford (Chairman and CEO, Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation), Ron Shroder (CEO/President, Frontier Technologies Inc.), Angela M. Albán (President and CEO, SIMETRI, Inc.), Dr. Clinton T. Rubin (SUNY Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Biomedical

Engineering, Director, Center for Biotechnology).  See a webcast of the hearing here.  (Original Sources: House Science, Space and Technology Cmte web site)

Universities’ Ranked for Tech Transfer Success

The Milken Institute just released: a report highlighting how it ranks over 200 universities on their success in tech transfer.  From an article in PR Newswire, “[T]he report "Concept to Commercialization: The Best Universities for Technology Transfer" also carries with it a clear policy recommendation: American research universities are among the nation's most powerful engines for domestic economic growth, and funding to sustain their research brings strong returns in the form of new industries, businesses and jobs. … The report found that university research funding supports the creation of both middle- and high-skill industry jobs through innovation, commercialization and technology transfer, with varied and significant multiplier effects.”  The top ten universities, according to Milken, are University of Utah, Columbia University, University of Florida, Brigham Young University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Washington, MIT, California Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon.  (Original Sources: PR Newswire website, Milken Institute website)


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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