The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a summary report on technology transfer activities of the federal laboratories for fiscal year 2009. The report summarizes the technology transfer activities and achievements of scientific research agencies across the federal government.
In January 2011 President Obama identified innovation as one of the key factors underpinning America's continued scientific and technical leadership. Technology transfer is an essential mission of federal laboratories that leverages the creative the innovation and intellectual capital of government scientists and the nation's investments in science and technology to strengthen the American economy and the nation's ability to compete in world markets.
The statistical data provided in this report indicate that from 2005 to 2009, collaborations at federal labs using CRADAs (Cooperative Research and Development Agreements) show a slightly upward trend along with new patent applications and issued patents.
Federal laboratories transfer many technologies through other mechanisms not listed in this report. A number of studies are under way to evaluate technology transfer and develop metrics that will more fully describe how federal research supports the U.S. economy.