Today, the President announced a new directive requiring all Federal research agencies to bolster efforts to transfer the results of research from their lab to the marketplace. These agencies will streamline their research partnership programs for small businesses, universities, and local communities. They will also launch new programs designed to support regional innovation clusters, launch new public-private partnerships, and share Federal lab facilities with high-tech startups. Each agency will be responsible for designing a five-year plan with tailored goals and metrics to measure progress.
Breakthroughs in science and technology have created the foundations for new industries, new companies, and new jobs. The United States has led the world for decades in this innovative process with our top-ranked universities and Federal laboratories. Today, other countries are challenging American leadership in the training of skilled workers, investments in research and development (R&D), and support of entrepreneurship. America must expand its ability to move science and technology breakthroughs into the marketplace. Federal labs play an important role in this effort, and we are working now to ensure that all research agencies make their “lab to market” efforts a top priority.
The President’s directive builds on the recent lab-to-market initiatives that agencies announced in concert with the President’s signing of the American Invents Act and the President’s presentation of the National Medals of Science and National Medals of Technology and Innovation, including:
- A new program at the National Institutes of Health to make patent licensing faster and more affordable for startups.
- A new pilot commercialization program at the US Patent and Trademark Office designed to assist small businesses with their intellectual property.
- An online platform at the National Institute of Standards and Technology NIST announced an online platform that will enable entrepreneurs to easily connect with more than 2,000 public-private organizations nationally that offer mentoring, technical assistances, and access to new markets.
Tom Kalil is Deputy Director for Policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Nick Maynard is Senior Advisor to the Deputy Director.