Build partnerships through Partnership Intermediary Agreements and regional networks
Outside partners, particularly those in your region, can be some of your best resources for advancing a lab's technology. They can bring marketing expertise, manufacturing capacity and expertise, scientific knowledge, fiscal resources, product development expertise, product registration experience, and business contact networks to benefit the efforts of a tech transfer office. Agencies have the ability to tap into these resources through Partnership Intermediary Agreements (PIAs).
- State and local economic development organizations can be a tremendous resource for the tech transfer office
- Academic institutions can be used for more than just scientific collaborations
- Tap into their business schools and marketing programs for collaborative efforts to evaluate technologies
- Let subject matter experts look at an invention with fresh eyes - a novel commercialization path might be found
NIH and NIST operate Entrepreneur in Residence programs in conjunction with regional technology organizations to place business development and marketing experts within the federal labs to offer evaluations of newly reported inventions.
Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC)-Crane developed a partnership network within the state to identify and market new technologies.
Air Force Research Laboratory formed a partnership with the Griffiss Institute for business incubator and tech transfer activities, including workforce development and STEM efforts.
NOAA, NASA, and the Naval Research Laboratory participate in the Stennis T3 group, an informal group of Federal, State, and university technology transfer offices located on or around the Stennis Space Center. The group is organized by the Mississippi Enterprise for Technology, a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that facilitates regional economic development by leveraging the resources of Stennis Space Center, the State, and the region to foster business opportunities among public and private entities. The Stennis T3 group has the goal of fostering communication among technology transfer offices and labs on the Stennis campus, while simultaneously increasing outreach to and opportunities for local businesses
USDA Agricultural Research Partnerships (ARP) Network was formed to promote collaboration with state and local government partners.
NASA Regional Economic Development program: To date, pilot initiatives are in five states, in various stages of development: Colorado, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
NIH partners with the nearby Johns Hopkins Carey Business School to allow its students to develop business cases for particular NIH technologies that are utilized for marketing and partnering efforts
EPA & the Small Business Administration (SBA) teamed together to initiate a water technology innovation "cluster" to focus on the regions strong reputation for water research and transformed the Cincinnati, Dayton, northern Kentucky, and southeast Indiana area into the "Silicon Valley" of water technology innovation.
EPA guided others to initiate similar water technology innovation clusters (15 to date). Clusters are comprised of a geographic concentrations of interconnected groups (academia, businesses, governments, investors, & etc.) focused on innovation, technology transfer, economic development, and commercialization. The formation of clusters focuses on a region's existing technological strengths.
DoD has a network of national Partnership Intermediaries that work with dozens of local/regional PIAs that facilitate and support tech transfer operations at specific laboratories.
- What areas of expertise can regional parties bring to your technology transfer efforts?
- Who is/are the champion(s) player(s)?
- What is the primary and secondary interconnected technologies the region/area is recognized for?
- What natural and manmade resources are located and available in your region?
- What is the best fit technology innovation for the regional cluster?
- How can the region best leverage the interconnected groups to transfer technology?
- Will the partnership involve an internal effort (i.e. interacting with your personnel) or an external effort (i.e. working independently to advance federal technology)?
- What are the different formal agreement mechanisms that can be used for the partnership?