Obama administration to boost tech transfers


The Obama administration plans to boost innovation by increasing the number and pace of federal technology transfers over a five year period.

In an Oct. 28 memo to agency and department heads, President Obama set an April deadline for agencies and federal labs to develop performance goals for increasing technology transfers to private sector and research organizations and improving “public availability of federally owned inventions.”

These plans, which will cover 2013 to 2017, will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for review. 

In fiscal 2009, federal labs at 11 agencies — including Veterans Affairs and Agriculture departments — disclosed 4,422 new inventions to outside entities and held 10,913 active licenses for federal lab technologies, according to a National Institutes of Standards and Technology report.

Granting licenses to develop and commercialize government technologies allows these inventions to further develop into products and services, the report said.

The federal chief information officer and technology officer and assistant to the president will work with agencies to list all publicly available, government-owned inventions and “develop strategies to increase the usefulness and accessibility of this data, such as competitions, awards or prizes.”


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