Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Heinrich: Labs technology transfer to be streamlined

U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-1) is applauding Energy Secretary Steven Chu for appointing a Technology Transfer Coordinator to help national laboratories streamline the transfer innovative scientific and technical solutions to American businesses.

“When world-class scientists and entrepreneurs put their minds together, anything is possible,” Heinrich said. “I commend Secretary Chu for his leadership in recognizing the tremendous opportunities our national laboratories present to private industry. The addition of a tech transfercoordinator will help businesses utilize advanced technologies to manufacture products more effectively and ultimately create more jobs.”

Earlier this month, Rep. Heinrich joined ten of his colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary Steven Chu urging him to appoint a national Technology Transfer Coordinator.

Today, Chu named Dr. Karina Edmonds of the California Institute of Technology was named as the first ever, full-time appointee to the position and will be responsible for working with national labs to streamline their research and commercialization partnerships with the private sector—including large and small companies, venture capital, universities, and other nonprofit research and development institutions.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was signed into law in Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 8, 2005, included Section 1001(a) to require that a Technology Transfer Coordinator be appointed as the Secretary of Energy’s principal advisor on technology transfer and commercialization; however, a full-time position was not filled until now.

According to a November 2009 report by the Congressional Research Service, the federal government spends approximately one third of its annual research and development budget to meet mission requirements in over 700 government laboratories. Much of the technology and expertise generated by this investment has applications beyond the immediate goals of federally funded research and development. As a result, there are numerous opportunities for private industry to take advantage of existing technologies at federal laboratories.

Sandia National Laboratories has been a leader in building mutually beneficial partnerships with industry, including Goodyear, Intel, and General Motors.

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