The FLC was organized in 1974 and formally chartered by the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 to promote and strengthen technology transfer nationwide. Today, more than 300 federal laboratories, facilities and research centers and their parent agencies make up the FLC community. Members of the FLC community include world–renowned scientists, engineers, inventors, entrepreneurs, academia, laboratory personnel, and T2 professionals.
The FLC currently operates under three pillars:
Promote – Actively promote the availability, benefit, and value of federal laboratory IP, facilities, and other assets
Educate – Provide education, training, and networking to federal technology transfer professionals and key stakeholders
Facilitate – Engage and leverage partnerships that connect private sector partners with federal labs
The Entrepreneurial Training Portal (ETP) was established by the Entrepreneurial Training Interagency Working Group to collect and curate entrepreneurial training resources across the federal government. All .gov or .mil addresses are welcome to sign up to the portal to access and contribute content.
Manufacturing USA institutes lead research and development on critical manufacturing technologies to strengthen U.S. global competitiveness, ensuring the U.S. will reap the rewards of American innovation at scale. The 14 institutes have leveraged $180M in federal funding to gain over $300M in outside investment.
The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is a public-private partnership with Centers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico dedicated to serving small and medium-sized manufacturers. Last year, MEP Centers interacted with 27,574 manufacturers, leading to $13.0 billion in sales, $2.7 billion in cost savings, $4.9 billion in new client investments, and helped create or retain 105,748 jobs.
The National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) is a network of 16 user facilities (and affiliates) that provides researchers from industry, academia, and government with access to university facilities and leading-edge equipment. This equipment includes characterization and fabrication tools, instrumentation, and expertise germane to all of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology.
SBIR is a highly competitive program that encourages small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the Nation's R&D arena, high-technology innovation is stimulated and the United States builds entrepreneurial spirit to meet specific research and development needs.
STTR is an important small business program that expands funding opportunities in the Federal innovation R&D arena. Central to the program is expanding the public/private sector partnership to include joint venture opportunities for small business and the Nation's premier nonprofit research institutions. Each year, five Federal departments and agencies are required to reserve a portion of their R&D funds for STTR awards to small business/nonprofit research institution partnerships. Currently, the five Federal agencies participating in the STTR program are DOD, DOE, DHHS (NIH), NASA, and NSF.
The NSF I-Corps program prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the university laboratory, and accelerates the economic and societal benefits of NSF-funded basic-research projects that are ready to move toward commercialization. Through I-Corps, grantees learn to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research, and gain skills in entrepreneurship through training in customer discovery and guidance from established entrepreneurs.
Energy I-Corps pairs teams of researchers with industry mentors for an intensive two-month training where the researchers define technology value propositions, conduct customer discovery interviews, and develop viable market pathways for their technologies. Researchers return to the lab with a framework for industry engagement to guide future research and inform a culture of market awareness within the labs.
The NIH I-Corps program seeks to develop and nurture a national innovation ecosystem that builds upon biomedical research to develop technologies, products, and services that benefit society. The program is focused on educating researchers and technologists on how to translate technologies from the lab into the marketplace. Participating NIH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) institutes and centers provide administrative supplement awards to currently funded SBIR and STTR Phase I grantees. The program is designed to provide three-member project teams with access to instruction and mentoring to accelerate the translation of technologies currently being developed with NIH and CDC SBIR and STTR funding. It is anticipated that outcomes for the I-Corps teams participating in this program will include significantly refined commercialization plans and well-informed pivots in their overall commercialization strategies.
Sign up for the Community of Practice Listserv to learn more about....