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FLC Brings Tech Transfer Event of the Year to Texas

From May 15-18, the epicenter for the commercialization of federally developed technology was Arlington, Texas. Nearly 300 scientists, entrepreneurs, and technology transfer professionals met for the 2007 FLC national meeting, Making the Connection.

From training to networking, the FLC national meeting provided the technology transfer community with a stage to discuss current practices, explore advances, and share success stories. The conference began with a three-track technology transfer training day. The tracks included Fundamentals, Intermediate, and Advanced training.

Led by Bob Charles of the U.S. Army Medical Research & Materiel Command, Fundamentals training reviewed the basic practices and policies associated with the transfer of federally developed technology and intellectual property.

Intermediate training, moderated by Laurie Arrants of National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, was designed for technology transfer professionals who have a basic foundation in the background, concepts, and processes of technology transfer. The course, presented by a team of technology transfer veterans, focused on the technology transfer office, intellectual property issues, licensing, and licensing negotiations.

Wendy Kennedy, author of So what? Who cares? Why you? The Inventor's Commercialization Toolkit, highlighted the Advanced training track. Her highly interactive session grouped students into technology commercialization teams that were given challenges related to getting investors and other business backers interested in their ideas. Kennedy's session was followed by a technology infusion panel led by Gib Marguth of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Rick Brenner of the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

On Wednesday, Ping Fu, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Geomagic, presented the conference's keynote session. Fu discussed how she used technology and creativity to take her company from a startup to a worldwide leader in the digital shape sampling and processing (DSSP) industry.

Her inspirational message highlighted ways and means to attract capital from private and institutional investors and how to win millions of dollars in research innovation grants.

Wednesday also provided attendees with the opportunity to tour the 2007 World's Best Technology Showcase at the Arlington Convention Center.

Thursday's highlights included the Industry Perspectives on Technology Transfer sessions and the FLC Awards for Excellence in Technology Transfer.

Led by Bob Coraor of Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., and Bonny Harbinger of the National Institutes of Health, the two-part Industry Perspectives session focused on the components of collaboration that can be used by federal labs and industrial partners to foster strategic alliances. Industry perspectives were presented by Lockheed Martin, Dow Chemical, and Merck.

Providing a prestigious setting for the evening of FLC awards was the Renaissance Worthington in Fort Worth. The FLC presented 32 FLC awards, including the Laboratory Director of the Year Award and the Service Award.

Taking home Laboratory Director of the Year awards were Carl Bauer of the National Energy Technology Laboratory, Dr. David Swayne of the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, and Joseph Zarzycki of the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center.

Closing out the week-long technology transfer event of the year were the Minority Business Development session, moderated by Ronald Langston of the Minority Business Development Agency, and Charting a Course for Federal Patent Portfolio Licensing, presented by Mark Thomas of The Reid Group.

Next year's FLC national meeting will take place in Portland, Oregon, May 5-9. For more information, contact Andrea LaFountaine of the FLC Management Support Office at 856-667-7727 or at alafountaine@utrs.com.

Geomagic's co-founder and CEO, Ping Fu, presented the keynote address at the FLC national meeting in Arlington, Texas, May 16, 2007.
Geomagic's co-founder and CEO, Ping Fu, presented the keynote address at the FLC national meeting in Arlington, Texas, May 16, 2007. (Click image to enlarge)