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L2M Target Areas

Regulatory and Administrative Improvements

  • Technology transfer legislation was written in the 1980s and needs to be updated for the 21st century.
  • Inconsistent interpretations of law, regulation, practices, and policies beyond the scope of agencies’ mission-specific differences.
  • Inconsistent definition of technology transfer and stakeholder engagement across organizations, and inflexibility in adapting current tools to marketplaces.
  • Partnerships not entered into due to unnecessary restrictions in policy, regulation, or statute.
  • Leadership, management, or cultural impediments that hinder adoption of best practices.

Private Sector Engagement

  • The private sector is a critical player in driving investment, but it can be challenging for them to engage with the Federal government.
  • Improved understanding of how federally-funded technologies, knowledge, and capabilities can be made more attractive for private investment, particularly angel and venture capital.
  • Improved systems usability so the private sector can find federally-funded technologies and key information (e.g. development stage, IP status) in their area of interest.
  • Earlier stakeholder engagement along with market-needs analysis for proposed technologies.
  • Increased stakeholder education of how federally-developed technologies and innovations are currently embedded and being used in technologies. 

Entrepreneurial R&D Workforce

  • The R&D workforce, including researchers and managers, lacks exposure and knowledge about and incentive to take the steps required in translating research from the lab to the marketplace.
  • Conflict-of-Interest or other policies, culture, and processes that inadvertently discourage entrepreneurship or make it difficult to recruit and retain entrepreneurial employees.
  • Attitude and resulting culture created by some R&D leaders that the government should not be involved in the commercialization of technology.

Tech Transfer Tools and Services

  • Lack of awareness of tech transfer opportunities by the public.
  • Private sector doesn’t know what is available nor that they have access to it.
  • Correspondingly, agency/lab leadership have limited understanding the value of T2 to the mission.
  • Complicated bureaucracy for citizens to navigate in order to engage in tech transfer:
  • User experience to find technologies varies greatly by agency and even lab.
  • Great diversity in approach for transfer process, agreements (terms & conditions), time frame, etc.
  • Uncoordinated management and/or lack of tech transfer tools, services, and supporting infrastructure among Federal agencies. Resulting in:
  • Too many duplicative tools and services that exasperate the user’s experience.
  • Each set of tools & services only reflect a given agency and/or lab’s assets.
  • Suboptimal use of resources and best practices in ‘back shop’ operations and management.
  • Want to automate & standardize operations such that T2 SMEs can spend more time on engagement inside and outside Lab

S&T Trends and Benchmarks

  • Increased need to demonstrate value of federal research investments to the Nation.
  • Identifying metrics that take into account the variety of Agency missions and disciplines.
  • Shifting the focus from technology transfer activities to impacts and mission-related outcomes.
  • Balancing reporting burdens with measurement needs.
Created December 9, 2019, Updated August 23, 2023