Benefits to GovernmentEach year, billions of dollars are strategically invested for federal R&D projects in order to boost research, fuel innovation, and grow the U.S. economy. As the global marketplace becomes increasingly competitive, it is clear that technological and scientific innovation will continue to drive economic development.
With world–renowned laboratory professionals and cutting–edge equipment and facilities, our nation's federal labs lead the way in innovative scientific and technological breakthroughs. To reap the full benefits of our R&D investments, agencies and laboratories need to make a return on their groundbreaking discoveries through the process of transferring technologies out of the labs and into the U.S. marketplace. This commercialization process is a vital part of ensuring that our nation maintains its competitive edge. The FLC plays a key role in facilitating tech transfer—which can result in significant economic and societal impacts for our country. Here are a few examples of the benefits that labs and agencies can experience thanks to tech transfer:
Leveraging Federal Resources for Economic Growth
Each year, the federal government invests over $100 billion in R&D. With technology transfer and the FLC's efforts, much of this investment is leveraged, giving U.S. industry the competitive edge and technologies it needs to create better products.
Offering Patents & Licensing Availability to Industry
Licensing federal patents creates additional funds for R&D, including royalty incentives for innovation. This return on investment includes increased time and creativity for the inventors.
Through the process of technology transfer, facility sharing helps maintain facilities by offsetting operation and maintenance costs.
Strengthening U.S. Businesses
When the FLC helps a U.S. company reduce its R&D costs, solve a technical problem, or improve productivity by helping them partner with a federal lab, the U.S. industrial base as a whole is strengthened—resulting in a stronger and more competitive nation.
Creating New Jobs and Industries
Spinoffs—new businesses or products that evolve from federal R&D—are a common result of the technology transfer partnerships the FLC helps to create. This means new jobs for Americans and even the possibility of creating an entirely new industry or market. Countless products have either evolved from federal R&D or been substantially improved by it.
Benefits to IndustryAccessing Federal Expertise
Technology transfer is much more than licensing a patent or conducting cooperative R&D. Many federal labs offer opportunities for personnel exchanges—an excellent way to supplement your existing staff with world–renowned scientists, engineers and inventors.
Technology & Laboratory Location
With hundreds of federal labs and facilities across the country, there are numerous opportunities for your business to establish a relationship with a federal facility without traveling far from your own resources. Thanks to tools like FLCBusiness and the Technology Locator, the FLC offers a variety of accessible entry points into the federal R&D system, making it easier to find new partners.
Leveraging R&D for Your Products
Building on R&D already accomplished by a federal laboratory is one of the most effective ways to reduce your R&D costs. From nanotech to biotech to manufacturing to electronics, the federal lab system offers almost limitless opportunities to build on your R&D efforts. Just take a search through our Available Technologies Search Tool to see what federal techs are already available for license!
Reducing Product Development Time & Costs
Access to state–of–the–art federal facilities and equipment is available for you to conduct product development and testing, which can dramatically reduce your product development cycle. Another option is to obtain an exclusive license to market a federally developed technology, a process that provides a much needed edge for smaller companies.
Benefits to AcademiaCutting–edge research is one of the recognized purviews of America's colleges and universities, but budget constraints and limited resources present significant challenges. The close and collaborative relationship between academia and federal research labs has traditionally been one way to overcome these obstacles, allowing both parties to leverage their R&D efforts and accomplish mutual goals. In addition, federal labs offer students exciting opportunities that are unavailable elsewhere—from apprenticeships to grants for innovative research projects. The connection between academia and federal labs has never been stronger. The FLC is dedicated to the continued strengthening of this important bond and supports the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) initiatives set forth by the Administration.
Offering Opportunities for Joint R&D
Collaborative research between academia and federal labs has often produced breakthrough innovations. The FLC's Technology Locator, website, and newsletter are valuable tools that academia can use to find potential R&D partners within the federal lab system.
Involving the Next Generation of Researchers
Federal agencies and labs offer a wide variety of grants and hands–on programs, such as the Entrepreneurial Technology Apprenticeship Program (ETAP), that offer students the chance to get involved in innovative technology projects—opportunities that prepare the next generation of researchers for the challenges and opportunities they will face.
Providing Opportunities for Collaboration
Technology transfer offers academic researchers the opportunity to collaborate with leading government scientists on cutting–edge R&D topics. In addition, these types of collaborations often involve using unique government facilities unavailable elsewhere.
Leveraging R&D Resources
Federal labs offer many services and technological innovations that can leverage the resources of academia—resulting in lower costs, increased productivity, and more R&D opportunities.