The FLC was organized in 1974 and formally chartered by the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 to promote and strengthen technology transfer nationwide. Today, more than 300 federal laboratories, facilities and research centers and their parent agencies make up the FLC community. Members of the FLC community include world–renowned scientists, engineers, inventors, entrepreneurs, academia, laboratory personnel, and T2 professionals.
Over the years, the FLC has made great strides in providing the tools, services, and educational resources that reflect the latest science and technology legislation through the most current technological platforms of the time. Whether it be through improved communications like social media, or by offering T2 strategy training sessions through regional grass–roots efforts, the organization has always sought to create an environment that adds value to and supports the T2 efforts of its members and potential partners.
Since its charter, the organization has grown to offer myriad resources and cutting–edge tools and services aimed at making the T2 process as accessible as possible for commercialization successes.
FLC Timeline & Important Dates in Technology Transfer
FLC Unveils New Branding
The FLC introduced a new logo and an FLC Style Guide at the 2015 FLC national meeting to complement the organization’s efforts to raise awareness about the innovations and technology transfer missions of our nation’s federal laboratories.
New logo for FLC awards program unveiled
To accompany the program’s highly recognizable awards among the technology transfer community. FLC national award winners are able to use the logo to share their accomplishments as well as bring attention to the hard work and dedication that is required to complete the technology transfer process.
Launch of FLCBusiness
A comprehensive database designed for industry, agencies, and academia to search the abundance of federal laboratories, facilities and equipment, programs, and funding resources available to aid business development and accelerate technology transfer.
Launch of FLC’s Available Technologies Search Tool
A tool that provides a free one-stop shop to locate licensing opportunities for a particular type of technology anywhere in our nationwide system of federal labs and research centers.
Oct. 28, 2011 Presidential Memorandum
Obama released a Presidential Memorandum, “Accelerating Technology Transfer and Commercialization of Federal Research in Support of High-Growth Businesses,” under his “Startup America” initiatives which were designed to foster entrepreneurship and innovation by increasing the rate of technology transfer and economic impact from federal R&D. The policy outlined the actions to be taken to establish goals and measure agency performances, streamline administrative processes, and promote local and regional partnerships to accelerate technology transfer and support private sector commercialization.
The America Invents Act (AIA), aka “Patent Reform Act”
Made major changes to the U.S. patent system. The most prominent change made was by changing the patent system from a first to invent system to a hybrid first inventor to file system. The inventor with the earliest filed patent application is entitled to the patent, not the earliest inventor. This harmonized the U.S. patent system with much of the rest of the world with the goal of making it more efficient, predictable, and easier for entrepreneurs to simultaneously market products worldwide.
The America COMPETES Act
Established and authorized programs in multiple agencies focused on increasing funding for basic research and development; strengthening teacher capabilities and encouraging student opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educational programs; enhancing support for higher risk, higher reward research; and supporting early career research programs for young investigators.
The Energy Policy Act
Established, within the Department of Energy, a technology transfer coordinator as the principal advisor to the secretary on all matters related to technology transfer and commercialization.
The Technology Commercialization Act
Recognizes the success of CRADAs for federal technology transfer and broadens the CRADA licensing authority to include preexisting government inventions to make CRADAs more attractive to private industry to increase the transfer of federal technology.
The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act
Amended the Stevenson-Wydler Act to make CRADAs more attractive to both federal labs, scientists, and to private industry. The law provides assurance to U.S. companies that they will be granted sufficient intellectual property rights to justify prompt commercialization of inventions arising from a CRADA with a federal lab.
The Small Business Technology Transfer Act
Established the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program, which mandated government agency funding of cooperative R&D projects between small businesses and universities, federally funded R&D centers, or nonprofit research institutions.
National Competitiveness Technology Transfer Act (NCTTA)
Established technology transfer as a laboratory mission for government-owned, government operated (GOGOs) and government-owned, contractor operated (GOCO) employees. NCTTA also established congressional intent that Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) be performed in a manner that fosters the competitiveness of the U.S. industry.
The Federal Technology Transfer Act
Established and was the second major piece of legislation to focus directly on technology transfer. The law also established a charter and funding plan for the FLC.
Small Business Innovation Development Act
Established the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and required agencies to provide special funds for small business R&D connected to the agencies’ mission.
Patent and Trademark Amendments Act (Bayh-Dole)
Provided exclusive rights to inventions arising under funding agreements with federal agencies to small businesses and nonprofit organizations agreeing that products embodying the invention will be manufactured substantially in the U.S.
Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act
Established technology transfer as a mission of the federal government.
Organization of the FLC
The Federal Laboratory Consortium, in its earliest form, is born.