The Federal government invests over $130 billion on research and development each year, conducted at universities, Federal laboratories, and companies; this work has yielded extraordinary long-term economic impact through the creation of new knowledge and ultimately new industries. A wide range of life-changing commercial technologies were nurtured by Federally-funded research and development (R&D), from the Internet, to the global positioning system (GPS), to leading-edge vaccines. The Federal R&D enterprise will continue to support fundamental research that is motivated primarily by our interest in expanding the frontiers of human knowledge and to diffuse this knowledge through open data and publications. Federally-funded R&D has historically led to dramatic economic growth, and there is significant potential to increase the public’s return on this investment in terms of innovation, job creation, societal impact, competitiveness, and economic prosperity.
The Administration has undertaken several recent efforts to accelerate R&D commercialization, including the Administration’s Startup America initiative to promote high-growth entrepreneurship, as well as the ongoing implementation of the Presidential Memorandum of October 28, 2011 (Accelerating Technology Transfer and Commercialization of Federal Research in Support of High-Growth Businesses), which directed agencies to establish goals, measure performance, streamline administrative processes, and facilitate local and regional partnerships to facilitate R&D commercialization.
The following actions will be taken to accelerate and improve the transfer of new technologies from the laboratory to the commercial marketplace:
- Optimizing the management, discoverability, and ease-of-license of the 100,000+ Federally-funded patents;
- Increasing the utilization of Federally-funded research facilities by entrepreneurs and innovators;
- Ensuring that relevant Federal institutions and employees are appropriately incentivized to prioritize R&D commercialization;
- Identifying steps to develop human capital with experience in technology transfer, including by expanding opportunities for entrepreneurship education; and
- Maximizing the economic impact of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs