FLEX Program

What is it?

The mission of the Federal Lab Education Accelerator (FLEX) is to facilitate long-term collaborations between federal laboratories and academic institutions to allow for greater access to federally invented technologies for market assessment necessary for commercialization. This program promotes innovation and collaborative work through the resources available within the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC). FLEX connects entrepreneurial students in MBA programs with federal labs’ technology portfolios, offering select licensable technologies as the subject of an entrepreneurial element of a business course. Students will walk away with market research experience with real federal technologies, while the labs will benefit from the analysis on their technologies within a business landscape. This pilot program out of the Mid-Atlantic Region is meant to bridge the gap between federal labs and entrepreneurs, serving as a collaboration between federal high-tech and higher business education. To view the Mid-Atlantic presentation for the FLEX program presented at the FLC Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Joint Regional Meeting, please click here.

How does it work?

This program promotes innovation and collaborative work through the resources available within the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC). FLEX connects entrepreneurial students in MBA programs with federal labs’ technology portfolios, offering select licensable technologies as the subject of an entrepreneurial element of a business course. Students will walk away with market research experience with real federal technologies, while the labs will benefit from the analysis on their technologies within a business landscape. This pilot program out of the Mid-Atlantic Region is meant to bridge the gap between federal labs and entrepreneurs, serving as a collaboration between federal high-tech and higher business education.

This partnership is non-exclusive and does not prohibit academic institutions from pursuing relationships with other federal labs that work with or outside of FLEX, nor does it prohibit labs from pursuing partnerships with academic institutions who work with or outside of FLEX. In addition, there are no costs associated with participating for the labs or MBA programs. Participation in the FLEX program is voluntary and does not involve compensation.

How do I get involved?

The current cycle for the pilot program is complete.

The program operates on semester cycles in the spring and fall. The next program will start recruiting participants in the summer of 2022. To review the FLEX Project Guidelines for Spring 2022, please click here. If you would like to participate as a university MBA program or federal lab, contact FLEX@federallabs.org.

For future cycles and more information on the program, how your lab or university can get involved, or for questions coming from current participants, please direct inquiries to FLEX@federallabs.org. In addition, check out the FLC press release announcing the program here. Download the FLEX brochure here