Dr. Larry Clark

Since becoming Director of the USDA National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) in 2008, Dr. Larry Clark has strived to increase and promote NWRC’s impact as the leading international institution for wildlife damage management research. Under his direction, technology transfer has become a major focus of the Center’s outreach efforts.

In 2013, Dr. Clark initiated the development of a robust technology transfer program, creating the Center’s first Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA) and Technology Transfer Coordinator (TTC) position to coordinate intellectual property (IP) creation, protection, and transfer. Together, Dr. Clark and the TTC support the Center’s scientists in the creation of technology transfer partnerships.

Dr. Clark’s emphasis on IP development and technology transfer activities has a significant impact on the Center’s research culture. He encourages the NWRC experts to work across teams to find innovative solutions to wildlife damage management problems. Although NWRC only employs about 30 Ph.D. research scientists, it collaborates on average with 140 unique entities each year. Since 2013, NWRC has entered into nearly 400 intellectual property agreements (Nondisclosure, Material Transfer, Material Transfer Research, Data Sharing and, Memoranda of Understanding), including 27 Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs). In total, these agreements have brought $4.5 million in extramural funding to the Center.

Between 1944 and 2013, NWRC scientists received 25 patents (an average of 1 patent every 2.8 years). Since Dr. Clark began emphasizing technology transfer, NWRC scientists have received 6 patents (1 patent every 1.2 years). In addition, NWRC currently has three U.S. patent applications under review. NWRC now receives annual royalties from three licensed technologies and is the only entity within the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service that has successfully licensed patented technology.

A great example of Dr. Clark’s work ethic and impact is shown by NWRC’s partnership with a private engineering firm to create tools for the control of invasive brown treesnakes on Guam. This effort required significant scientific input, coordination and planning with numerous federal stakeholders and a series of agreements with a private company. Enlisting the aid of a local stakeholder organization, he tapped into the engineering resources needed to initiate and complete this mission-critical project. The result was one issued patent, one provisional patent application, jobs creation in Colorado and Guam, and the expansion of a local engineering firm’s portfolio.

To exemplify the impact Dr. Clark has had on the local research and business community, Dan Powers, Executive Director of CO-LABS, a consortium of federally funded scientific laboratories, universities, businesses and leaders organized to nurture and champion Colorado as a global leader in research, technology, and their commercialization, stated the following: "Larry has been a significant supporter of CO-LABS and personally welcomed groups we organized to visit the NWRC facilities. His informed insight has been a resource for growing our network, and we are fortunate to have his leadership within the research and innovation ecosystem in Colorado."

Contact: Dr. Larry Clark, (970) 266-6000, larry.clark@aphis.usda.gov

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Region: 
Mid-Continent