The United States spends more than any other nation on R&D each year, investing over $200 billion in federally funded R&D alone. Critical technologies such as life-saving drugs, vaccines, medical devices, the internet, GPS, and countless other innovations underpinning every aspect of the American way of life are traceable to groundbreaking work at federal laboratories, federally funded universities, and private-sector R&D organizations. Administrations and Congress often identify L2M as a priority to increase the economic impact of federally funded research and development by accelerating and improving the transfer of new technologies from the laboratory to the commercial marketplace. Through bringing products to market quickly and growing the economy, this initiative allows America to position itself as a global leader in innovation.
Lab-to-Market (L2M) was recognized as a critical part of NIST activities and was given additional funding to support the initiative starting in fiscal year 2015. These resources are used to expand pilot programs in entrepreneurship and commercialization, develop new tools and database resources to improve the commercialization process, sponsor interagency innovation-related studies, and fund efforts within other areas of the Department of Commerce and within the federal research community to enhance the partnership efforts of federal labs. L2M often utilizes new and existing interagency bodies such as the National Science and Technology Council’s Lab-to-Market Subcommittee, Cross-Agency Priority Goals within the President’s Management Agenda, interagency working groups (IAWGTT, IAWGBD, SBIR/STTR Interagency Policy Committee), FLC, and others for strategic direction and tactical implementation.