Udall floats plan to streamline tech transfer
- By Adam Mazmanian
- Aug 14, 2013
New Mexico Democratic Sen. Tom Udall, whose state is home to the Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, is proposing a plan to speed the commercial use of technology developed under government auspices.
Udall's bill, which he said he will introduce in the fall, is tentatively called the Technology Transfer Invention, Innovation, and Implementation Act. It proposes to knit together technology transfer policies across the national labs under the Office of Advanced Research Tech Transfer and Innovation in Energy, which will be located in the headquarters of the Department of Energy. It would establish a public-private partnership program called the Entrepreneurs in Energy Corps to invest in scientists, engineers, and business developers looking to create commercial applications out of technology. The proposal would put into place new tools for a department-wide technology transfer office to measure progress in technology transfer.
"Our goal is to reduce bureaucracy so we can get cutting-edge research and technology from the workbench to the marketplace, leading to a 21st century boost for entrepreneurship and job-creation across the state," Udall said at an Aug. 12 conference in Santa Fe, N.M.
A joint report from three think tanks from across the political spectrum in June recommended wholesale changes to the organization of the National Labs, including some that track with the outline of Udall's proposal, such as better metrics for technology transfer.
The Los Alamos National Laboratory unveiled on Aug. 1 its Express Licensing program, which gives local entrepreneurs and national collaborators access to technology invented at the lab. The program is the first of several initiatives under development by the Technology Transfer Division aimed at streamlining access for potential partners and customers.
Adam Mazmanian is a staff writer covering Congress, the FCC and other key agencies. Connect with him on Twitter: @thisismaz.