Across the federal agencies are a multitude of federal labs that conduct research in various scientific and technical areas that benefit the general public and the U.S. government. These federal labs stay engaged in research and development throughout a fiscal year (FY) and, while doing that, they discover new technologies that may be of benefit to the overall commercial market. All the tech transfer activities throughout a fiscal year are compiled and put together in the form of a federal labs technology transfer report. The summary for FY 2017 was recently released, providing a catalogue of federal tech transfer work for that year.
The data from eleven federal agencies was compiled for this report, which includes input from: Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Commerce (DOC), Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of the Interior (DOI), Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Some of the takeaways from the report include:
Federal Invention Disclosures and Patenting
A multi-year comparison was looked at regarding the frequency of new invention disclosures, patent applications filed, and patents issued. From FY 2013 to FY 2017, invention disclosures reported by federal agencies increased by 6% to 5,667.
Patents Assigned to Selected Federal Agencies Based on Technology Type
The report looks at the patents issued to the federal agencies based on the various types of technologies. Measurement, other special machines, and biotechnology were some of the top areas for FY 2017.
Federal Collaborative R&D Relationships
A multi-year comparison was done to look at the frequency of federal agencies engaging in cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) with external parties. CRADAs establish a working relationship between the public and private sector on projects for the federal government. From FY 2013 to FY 2017, active CRADAs increased by 21% to 11,501.
The Federal Laboratory Technology Transfer FY 2017 report spans 140 pages and covers an overall federal tech transfer summary, as well as breaks down tech transfer activities by each of the selected federal agencies. You can go here to read the report.