FLC News

White Paper Released for "If the Sky Were the Limit..."

sky xl

Recently, panelists at the 2012 FLC national meeting session entitled "Having More Impact: If the Sky Were the Limit, What Would You Do in TT?", released a white paper outlining the major themes that attendees identified there.

From the abstract:

Today we operate in a competitive global knowledge economy in which intangible assets are becoming an increasing determination of value. The federal laboratories are the research and development engine of the United States and have the capacity to further stimulate new innovations, products, companies and jobs through the creation of intellectual property, development of new technologies, and bold partnerships.

This need has been clearly recognized by the current Administration. In his presidential memo issued in October 28, 2011, President Obama states that ’Innovation fuels economic growth, the creation of new industries, companies, jobs, products and services, and the global competitiveness of U.S. industries. One of the goals of my Administration…is to foster innovation by increasing the rate of technology transfer and the economic and societal impact from Federal research and development investments. The aim is to increase the successful outcomes of these activities significantly over the next 5 years.’ This memorandum focuses on the need for new policy to establish goals and measure progress, streamline the federal government’s technology transfer and commercialization process, and facilitate commercialization through local and regional partnerships.

...The mission and programs of the FLC are intended to support the mission as outlined by the Presidential memorandum. Input from the members and their industry partners have the potential to guide the enhancement of existing programs and resources and the development of new initiatives.

For the FLC Annual Meeting from April 30th to May 3rd 2012, Bridging Federal Technologies and Industry, a panel was established from industrial partners, technology transfer and economic development leaders, to consider the question, “If the sky were the limit, what could the federal labs do differently to accelerate technology transfer?” Prior to the session, the panel gathered issues and suggestions from professionals in technology transfer, industry, investors and the university community and integrated these to stimulate the discussion. The goal of the panel was to generate a discussion on key areas and potential innovations to accelerate the achievement of the goals outlined in the presidential memo. With an audience comprised of technology transfer professionals committed to establishing best practices with the private sector, a stimulating discussion was generated to determine what key issues are and what can be done by the labs, agencies, industry, and economic development organizations to address them.

There were several key areas where opportunities for change were identified, including culture, elevation and integration of mission, marketing communications and outreach, process, education, and entrepreneurship and commercialization.

Authors of the white paper:

  • Gary Keller, CEO, Xomix, Ltd.
  • Fizie Haleem, Managing Director for Technology Transfer and Commercialization Programming and Federal Contracting Sector, Montgomery County Department of Economic Development
  • Steven Ferguson, Deputy Director, Licensing and Entrepreneurship, Office of Technology Transfer, National Institutes of Health
  • Al Jordan, Deputy Manager for IT Services for the NASA International Space Station Program (and Co-Chair of the FLC Communications Committee)
  • Cheryl Cejka, Director of Technology Commercialization, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (and FLC Member-at-Large).

The full text can be found here.

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