DC Dispatch

DC Dispatch - May 27, 2016

DC dispatch new

DOE Science Lab Day on the Hill

(Tech transfer discussed on one panel)

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently held: the fourth “in a series of five events on Capitol Hill highlighting the work of DOE’s 17 national laboratories.” From a summary by AIP, “[A]fter the inaugural ‘Lab Day’ in Sep. 2014, each subsequent event was assigned a specific theme: energy infrastructure for the second, national security for the third, and now, science had its turn. The final event in the series will occur this fall and will focus on DOE’s environmental cleanup work.” One panel addressed the relationship between the labs and the private sector. “[Secretary] Moniz asked the panelists to reflect on how well the labs are interacting with industry and what more could be done to enhance technology transfer from the labs to the private sector. Wright [VP, Johnson Controls] responded that although she has seen a ‘step function change in culture’ at the labs in their stance toward industry engagement, the labs could still benefit from a greater sense of ‘urgency’ in their dealings with industry. Alivisatos [former Director of Lawrence Berkley National Lab] noted that the attitude toward technology transfer at the labs is changing rapidly. ‘There’s a very powerful movement across the labs now to make the labs more open to industry,’ he said. He then predicted that the labs will become increasingly important incubators for early-stage companies over the next decade. Panelists also observed that the labs could do more to explain their capabilities and value to the private sector and the public. If more people understood the value of the labs ‘we [would] not have to be begging for funding,’ Wright argued, and suggested that one good way of framing the discussion would be to ask ‘What would our lives be like without the labs?’” (Original Sources: AIP web site)

Applications Sought for DOC Advisory Group

(National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship)

The Department of Commerce has published: a ‘Notice of Opportunity’ for anyone interested in applying for membership in the DOC National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship – NACIE). From the notice “[NACIE] will identify and recommend solutions to issues critical to driving the innovation economy, including enabling entrepreneurs and firms to successfully access and develop a skilled, globally competitive workforce. NACIE will also serve as a vehicle for ongoing dialogue with the innovation, entrepreneurship, and workforce development communities, including but not limited to business and trade associations. The duties of NACIE are solely advisory, and it shall report to the Secretary through the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Office of the Secretary.” Applications are due by June 1 (apologies for the late notification). (Originals Sources: Federal Register web site)

State Dept Proposal to Curtail Foreign Student Access

(To sensitive university research projects)

According to an article in Reuters: “[L]eading U.S. universities are pushing back against a proposed State Department rule that would bar foreign students from more research projects and classes involving information seen as vital to national security. The proposal by the administration of President Barack Obama reflects growing worries in Washington over a rise in intellectual property theft from foreign adversaries such as China. Research related to defense technology such as munitions, nuclear engineering and satellite technology would be particularly affected by the rule, which is still in the proposal process and has not been widely reported. … The new rule, which largely applies to company-sponsored research, threatens to shrink the pool of research opportunities available for U.S. colleges, which have grown strongly in popularity among high-paying foreign students in recent years.” Although not a federal lab tech transfer concern per se, I thought some might find this topic interesting (given their relationships with university research(ers). (Original Sources: Reuters web site)

Science and Technology Awardees Honored

President Obama recently hosted: 17 distinguished scientists, engineers, and inventors at the White House for “a formal ceremony to award the National Medal of Science to nine honorees and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation to eight.” From a summary by AIP, “[T]hese individuals are the last who will receive the nation’s highest honors for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology under this president.” The list of awardees was made public in December 2015, but the ceremony just occurred in May. (Original Sources: AIP web site, USPTO web site).

New From NSF

Federal Science and Engineering Obligations to Universities and Colleges Increase by 6% in FY 2014 notes that “[I]n 2014, federal agencies obligated $30.8 billion to 996 academic institutions for science and engineering (S&E) activities, a 6% increase in current dollars from the $29.1 billion obligated to 995 academic institutions in FY 2013. This is the first increase in S&E funding to academic institutions since FY 2009. … After adjustment for inflation, federal S&E obligations to academic institutions declined by $2.1 billion (7%) from FY 2012 to FY 2013 and increased by $1.2 billion (4%) between FY 2013 and FY 2014. … Federal academic R&D obligations increased by $1.5 billion (6%) between FY 2013 and FY 2014. … Collectively, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), NSF, and the Department of Defense (DOD) provided 85% of all federally funded academic S&E obligations in FY 2014. Of these agencies, HHS accounted for 57% of all federally funded obligations; NSF, 16%; and DOD, 12%. The Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration provided most of the remaining academic S&E total (12%).” (Original Sources: NSF web site)

Updates on Pending SC IP Cases and DTSA Lawsuits

Patently-O continues to provide: periodic updates on pending patent-related cases before (or potentially before) the Supreme Court. See the May 18 update here. The blog has also begun to provide updates on new lawsuits (which were expected) filed under the recently-passed Defend Trade Secrets Act (see Dispatch 5-13-16 and 4-15-16). See updates here and here. (Original Sources: Patently-O blog) 

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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.

Contact: Gary K. Jones, FLC DC Representative, gkjones.ctr@federallabs.org

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