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Return on Investment Initiative for Unleashing American Innovation



Walter G. Copan, Sivaraj Shyam-Sunder, Phillip A. Singerman, Paul R. Zielinski, Courtney F. Silverthorn, Charles J. Na, Henry N. Wixon, David C. Cranmer


The Return on Investment (ROI) Initiative for Unleashing American Innovation is part of a national conversation that is designed to advance the Lab-to-Market cross agency priority (CAP) goal of the President's Management Agenda (PMA). The ROI Initiative's goal is to maximize the transfer of Federal investments in science and technology into value for America in ways that will (a) meet current and future economic and national security needs in a rapidly shifting technology marketplace and enhance U.S. competitiveness globally, and (b) attract greater private sector investment to create innovative products, processes, and services, as well as new businesses and industries. The PMA's Lab-to-Market CAP Goal is co-led by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) via the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). By statute, DOC is the lead Federal agency for technology transfer policy and practice. As part of the ROI Initiative, NIST implemented an open, inclusive, and collaborative process to identify and assess options for supporting the ROI Initiative's overall goal and objectives. This Green Paper is a discussion document based on an assessment of the feedback from the U.S. stakeholder community. It provides an initial summary of key stakeholder inputs and identifies short-term and long-term actions to modernize the U.S. system of technology transfer and innovation for the 21st century. Implementation of any of the intended actions that require specific policy, legislative, and/or regulatory actions will be advanced via formal proposals subject to appropriate interagency review, and public comment. The intended actions are designed to remove barriers to innovation, modernize partnering models and tools, expand entrepreneurial ecosystems, and create increased opportunities for returns to the American people from investment in R&D.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1234
Report Number


Innovation, Research and Development, Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer, Bayh-Dole Act, Stevenson-Wydler Act, Economic Competitiveness, National Security, Return on Investment, Metrics, Economic Impacts, President’s Management Agenda, Lab-to-Market, Cross-Agency Priority Goal Entrepreneurship, Startups, Research Partnerships, Research Foundations, Partnership Intermediaries, Translational Research, Technology Maturation, Investors, Incubators, Accelerators, Research Parks, Innovation Ecosystems, Small Business, Patents, Copyrights, Trade Secrets, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, Agreements for Commercializing Technology


Copan, W. , Shyam-Sunder, S. , Singerman, P. , Zielinski, P. , Silverthorn, C. , Na, C. , Wixon, H. and Cranmer, D. (2018), Return on Investment Initiative for Unleashing American Innovation, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 23, 2024)


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Created December 5, 2018, Updated October 12, 2021