DC Dispatch

DC Dispatch - September 2, 2016

President to Host Technology Conference

(Seeks nominations for innovators to attend; Pittsburgh – October 13th)

President Obama is set to host: the “first-ever White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh, PA to explore the future of innovation in America and around the world.” From the White House press release, “[P]resident Obama will travel to Pittsburgh to host the White House Frontiers Conference, a national convening that the White House is co-hosting with the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University to explore the future of innovation here and around the world. The convening will include topics in the November issue of WIRED, which will be guest-edited by the President on the theme of ‘Frontiers.’ The conference will focus on building U.S. capacity in science, technology, and innovation, and the new technologies, challenges and goals that will continue to shape the 21st century and beyond. The White House Frontiers Conference will bring together some of the world’s leading innovators in Pittsburgh to discuss how investing in science and technology frontiers will help improve lives, including progress and investments that are keeping America and Americans on the cutting edge of innovation.” You can nominate ‘innovators’ to attend the conference by submitting their names to the White House (on the link above). (Original Sources: White House web site).

Global Innovation Index 2016

The recently released Global Innovation Index 2016 shows: that “[C]hina joins the ranks of the world’s 25 most-innovative economies, while Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Finland and Singapore lead the 2016 rankings …” (The Global Innovation Index 2016 (GII) is co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization). From the GII press release, “China’s top-25 entry marks the first time a middle-income country has joined the highly developed economies that have historically dominated the top of the Global Innovation Index (GII) throughout its nine years of surveying the innovative capacity of 100-plus countries across the globe. China’s progression reflects the country’s improved innovation performance as well as methodological considerations such as improved innovation metrics in the GII. … Among the GII 2016 leaders, four economies — Japan, the U.S., the UK, and Germany— stand out in ‘innovation quality,’ a top-level indicator that looks at the caliber of universities, number of scientific publications and international patent filings. China moves to 17th place in innovation quality, making it the leader among middle-income economies for this indicator, followed by India which has overtaken Brazil.” See the full report here. (Original Sources: GII web site)

‘Startup’ Visa Proposed for Foreign Entrepreneurs

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is proposing: a “new rule, which would allow certain international entrepreneurs to be considered for parole (temporary permission to be in the United States) so that they may start or scale their businesses here in the United States.” From the press release, “[O]nce the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 45 days from the date of publication to comment. … The proposed rule would allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to use its existing discretionary statutory parole authority for entrepreneurs of startup entities whose stay in the United States would provide a significant public benefit through the substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation. … Under the proposed rule, entrepreneurs may be granted an initial stay of up to two years to oversee and grow their startup entity in the United States.” See an advanced version of the proposed rule in the link above. (Original Sources: USCIS web site)

USPTO Launches Cancer Moonshot Challenge

(In Support of the White House Cancer Moonshot Initiative)

The USPTO recently launched: “the USPTO Cancer Moonshot Challenge to enlist the public’s help to leverage our intellectual property data, often an early indicator of meaningful research and development (R&D), and combine it with other economic and funding data ….” As noted in the associated blog post, “[T]he USPTO is playing an important role in the National Cancer Moonshot, a Presidential initiative we blogged about earlier this summer, to speed up cancer advances, make more therapies available to more patients, and improve the ability to prevent cancer and detect it at an early stage. … This comes on the heels of our Patents 4 Patients program, which was launched in July and aims to cut in half the time it takes to review patent applications in cancer therapy.” The challenge ends on September 12, with winners announced Sept 26. (Original Sources: USPTO web site)

Update on DOE Small Business Vouchers Program

DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has recently announced: its second round of awardees under its Small Business Vouchers Pilot program. From the SBV web site, “[T]hrough 2016, EERE is providing up to $20 million in vouchers so that small businesses can request technical assistance from national labs to help bring the next generation of clean technologies to market. … The pilot will foster a strong partnership between the labs and clean tech small businesses, benefiting both. While small businesses receive access to state-of-the-art facilities and experts, the national labs broaden their service to private-sector technological development, supporting small business development, job creation and American competitiveness.” See more on the pilot here and the Round Two awardees here. (Original Sources: DOE SBV web site)

OSTP Status on Public-Sector Prize Competitions

OSTP has released: a status report on public-sector prize and challenge competitions. From the White House blog, “[I]n Fiscal Year 2015, 47 prize competitions were conducted under COMPETES authority, as well as 69 challenges conducted using authorities other than COMPETES, a significant increase over previous years. … Comparing the 116 prize competitions and challenges conducted in FY 2015 under all authorities with previous years’ reports shows several trends in public-sector prizes:

  • Increased ambition and sophistication of prize designs enabled by partnerships;
  • New models for engaging the public during competitions;
  • Application of prizes as one tool in a broader portfolio of actions within a program;
  • Series of challenges conducted to build momentum for specific issue; and
  • Commercialization of solutions found through prizes to address market failures.

… To further support the increased use and sophistication of challenges, 11 agencies and departments developed new infrastructure in the past fiscal year, from issuing department-wide guidance on the use of prizes to coordinating internal and external communications on challenges.” See the full report here and a related blurb by SSTI here. (Original Sources: White House blog, SSTI web site)

New From NSF

Business Spent $341 Billion on R&D Performed in the US in 2014 states that “[B]usiness research and development performance in the United States reached $341 billion in 2014, a 5.6% increase over the $323 billion spent in 2013. Funding from the companies' own sources was $283 billion in 2014, a 6.7% increase from the $265 billion spent in 2013. Funding from other sources was $58 billion in both years. … In 2014, of the $341 billion companies spent on R&D, $22 billion (6%) was spent on basic research, $53 billion (16%) on applied research, and $265 billion (78%) on development. The distribution was unchanged from 2013. In 2014, companies in manufacturing industries performed $233 billion (68%) of domestic R&D, defined as R&D performed in the 50 states and Washington, D.C. Most of the funding was from these companies' own funds (83%).” (Original Sources: NSF 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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