2011 has been a year focused on job creation, and a focus has been placed on technology transfer to jump-start new job opportunities.
In February, President Obama introduced Startup America, an organization dedicated to training, mentoring, and funding entrepreneurs. In addition to a mixture of public and private initiatives focused on stimulating the growth and success of startups, Startup America is working to “strengthen commercialization of the about $148 billion in annual federally-funded research and development, which can generate innovative startups and entirely new industries.”
With the launch of Startup America, other government agencies announced new offerings to support the job creation goals. For example, The United States Patent and Trademark Office is offering accelerated patent approval to entrepreneurs. And, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Agreement for Commercializing Technology (ACT), which is a pilot program “under which businesses may partner with participating DOE laboratories for research and development that commercializes technology.”
In November, the White House took another step toward strengthening the technology transfer process through a Presidential Memorandum – Accelerating Technology Transfer and Commercialization of Federal Research in Support of High-Growth. The memo is focused on three steps to improve the transfer process:
- Streamline the technology transfer process by accelerating licensing time, promoting grant investments, and cutting the gap between grant application and awarding.
- Develop partnerships through local collaborations in order to spur regional innovation.
- Develop a 5-year performance measurement plan to ensure commercialization is in fact being achieved more quickly.
As 2012 starts and these tactics are implemented, America will start to see their true potential. Do you think these government programs will enhance the technology transfer industry?