More than 300 laboratories and research centers, representing almost all federal departments and agencies, employ more than 100,000 scientists and engineers and conduct over $100 billion in research & development annually. But this work is for nothing if the “genius” is not let out of the bottle. To capitalize on the Nation’s investment in federal research, this expertise and technology must be brought to the marketplace by business-oriented visionaries in the private sector.
The most recent government-wide statistics for federal technology transfer indicate that in FY 2015, government agency researchers participated in 4,710 traditional CRADAs and 27,088 other collaborative research and development agreements. They filed 4,830 new invention disclosures and 2,389 patent applications. Agencies received 2,182 patents, and earned over $202 million from active income bearing licenses. Federal researchers published approximately 44,483 scientific papers that year as well. These statistics tell only a small part of the story. The true benefit of technology transfer is reflected in the new jobs created, and the technologies and products put to use supporting the national economy and its citizens. Advancements in medical prosthetics, terrorism detection and prevention, and renewable energy resources are just a few of the federally developed technologies that make an impact on our lives as a result of transferring technology to the private sector.
Technology from Federal Laboratories