Each year, the federal government makes substantial investments in research and development that takes place at our nation’s colleges and universities. In 2008, federally funded university investments totaled over $31 billion. Together with academia and the private sector, the Obama administration is working to support research and development and drive new innovations and technologies to market to create U.S. jobs and economic growth.
Recently, the Commerce Department hosted several University Innovation Forums in collaboration with university presidents addressing the roles of universities in innovation, economic development, job creation and the commercialization of federally funded research. These forums built upon a national dialogue Secretary Locke began in February when he engaged university leaders and key stakeholders in a discussion about how the Obama administration can help move ideas from the lab to the marketplace. From these efforts, the Commerce Department is gathering input on best practices in university technology commercialization and making recommendations for federal government policy.
In March 2010, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Economic Council also published a Request for Information soliciting public comments to identify ways to increase the economic impact of federal investments in university research and development. A total of 205 responses were submitted by stakeholders from all over the country, including universities, non-profits, entrepreneurs, local governments and private companies.
While an inter-agency task force works to analyze these comments, in the spirit of government transparency and collaboration, they are now available to the public. These thoughtful responses from people on the frontline provide valuable insights into existing barriers, best practices and possible improvements to technology commercialization efforts. View public comments here http://www.eda.gov/commrfi .