The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) was established by Executive Order on November 23, 1993. The NSTC coordinates science and technology policy across the various Federal research and development agencies.
The Lab-to-Market Subcommittee, currently chartered under the NSTC Committee on Science and Technology Enterprise, was established in 2016 to strengthen and expand the adoption and commercialization of federally funded R&D by industry and other government entities.
The Federal Government invests approximately $150 billion annually in research and development (R&D) conducted at Federal agencies, universities, and industrial partnerships. For America to maintain its position as the global leader in innovation, bring products to market more quickly, grow the economy, and maintain a strong national security innovation base, it is essential to optimize the transition of technologies from the lab to the marketplace, and support programs that increase return on investment (ROI) to the U.S. taxpayer from federally funded R&D.
The Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 established technology transfer as a mission of the federal government and mandated that each federal R&D agency create an Office of Research and Technology Applications to conduct technology transfer activities.
The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 provided the ability for federal funding recipients to retain the rights to their subject inventions, and enabled the federal government to license patents, collect royalties, and pay a portion of the royalties to inventors.
The Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 established the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding program and required federal R&D agencies to set aside a portion of their extramural R&D expenditures (currently 3.2%) to provide grants to small businesses for innovative R&D.
The Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 modified the Stevenson-Wydler act to create Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) that allowed federal laboratories to partner with the private sector, receive private sector funds for collaborative R&D, and offer licensing options to their CRADA partners for newly developed intellectual property. The Act also established the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC).
The Small Business Technology Transfer Act of 1992 expanded the SBIR programs at larger agencies (over $100M in extramural R&D funding) to include projects that both funded a small business and offered the opportunity to collaborate with the federal laboratory on the R&D project.
The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 amended the CRADA statute to expressly permit exclusive licensing options to CRADA inventions.
The America COMPETES Act of 2007 established programs focusing on increasing funding for basic R&D, supporting STEM education and early career research programs, and enhancing support for high risk, high reward research.
The America Invents Act of 2011 changed the patent system from "first to invent" to a hybrid "first inventor to file", harmonized US patent system with much of the rest of the world, and made it easier to market products worldwide.