This week the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) welcomed dozens of representatives from Maryland businesses to learn about collaboration and technology licensing opportunities at a “Green Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Showcase.” The event was hosted by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), an independent organization that provides entrepreneurial business assistance and seed funding for the development of startup companies in Maryland.
In a 2011 Memorandum, President Obama wrote, “Innovation fuels economic growth, the creation of new industries, companies, jobs, products and services, and the global competitiveness of U.S. industries. One driver of successful innovation is technology transfer, in which the private sector adapts federal research for use in the marketplace.”
The memo instructed agencies to take steps to enhance successful technology innovation networks by fostering increased federal laboratory engagement with external partners. TEDCO is one of the partners working with NIST to foster tech transfer and its economic benefits.
Attendees at today’s event learned about the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which supports small- and mid-size manufacturers across the U.S.; how to work with NIST; and technologies available for license from NIST’s Engineering and Material Measurement laboratories.
TEDCO’s Director of Federal Programs Ronald Kaese described the organization’s funding programs and the Maryland Clean Energy Center’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Bjorn Frogner talked about incubating and accelerating clean technology companies. Several Maryland companies gave presentations on their development of technologies for rooftop solar energy, video image detection, and the Smart Grid.
In addition to events such as this, NIST releases an annual report on the Department of Commerce’s technology transfer accomplishments, as well as summary reports on technology transfer from 13 federal laboratories. The reports detail efforts to transfer the results of public investment in research to meet marketplace and other needs through thousands of patents, cooperative agreements, licenses and other pathways.
NIST also hosts a website with links to the technology transfer plans developed by agencies with federal research laboratories, in response to the 2011 Presidential Memorandum. The plans include agency-defined goals and metrics to measure progress and evaluate the success of new efforts that encourage technology transfer activities. These efforts all support a policy of using innovation as a tool to increase economic growth, create jobs, and enhance global competitiveness of U.S. industries.