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NIST Awards Funds for Cloud-Based Tool Connecting Private-Sector Investment and Federal Innovation

Close up of the NIST chip-scale atomic clock
In 2003, NIST demonstrated the world's first "chip-scale" atomic clock. Today, several companies sell a range of these low-power, highly accurate clocks for applications in signal jamming, underwater mapping, and secure military communications. The new cloud-based tool sponsored by NIST should make it easier for companies to find federal technology to license and commercialize.
Credit: NIST
GAITHERSBURG, Md.—The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and National Technical Information Service (NTIS) have signed an agreement to create a partnership to better connect entrepreneurs, industry and investors with inventions created as a result of federally funded research and development.

“Improving technology transfer and the commercial deployment of inventions arising from federal research and development is a high priority for the administration, and this new project supports the NIST initiative for Unleashing American Innovation,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Walter G. Copan. “We’re looking forward to making the fruits of federal R&D much more accessible to industry and entrepreneurs, and hence accelerate the development of new technology-based products and services that benefit the U.S. economy.”

Through the innovative NTIS Joint Venture Partnerships (JVP) program, NIST will fund a development project led by Berico Technologies to create a cloud-based solution that consolidates access to commercially relevant information on federal technologies and intellectual assets. Berico will be supported by Dun & Bradstreet Federal, Amazon Web Services and the Virginia Tech University Pamplin College of Business, Center for Business Intelligence and Analytics (CBIA) for supplemental data science services. 

The NTIS JVP program connects companies with federal agencies to assist them in developing and implementing novel ways to collect, connect, access, analyze and use federal data and data services. The goal for the NIST project is to connect companies seeking technologies to license and commercialize with relevant federal agencies, as well as to identify research assets available for further development. The new site will use data analytic tools to curate and identify complementary technologies from across the federal research system through a single site. Current web-based tools lack the capabilities to effectively link business and technical requirements to the technologies that may meet those needs. 

In short, the JV partners will develop value-added solutions and ongoing improvements that directly meet private-sector needs. NIST will invest $1.7 million of Lab to Market initiative funding for completion of the multiphase project. 

In the 2018 President’s Management Agenda, President Trump designated improving the transfer of federally funded technologies to the market as a national Cross Agency Priority Goal. The new partnership supports the Lab to Market goal of increasing the economic impact of federally funded research and development across all federal agencies by accelerating and improving the transition of new technologies from the laboratory to the commercial marketplace.

In May 2018, NIST and the Office of Science and Technology Policy launched a Return on Investment Initiative to further enhance the benefits of federal R&D to the U.S. economy. NIST subsequently announced streamlined regulations related to the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act to reduce regulatory burdens on recipients of federal R&D funding, and to foster technology transfer.

NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. NIST is a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. To learn more about NIST, visit

Released October 24, 2018