using federal laboratories
(NAL, 2007). These methods are similar to those of the universities.
Information can be shared in informal and formal ways. Industry can attend workshops or briefings or make visits to federal labs. Federal laboratory personnel also produce many publications and technical presentations. These methods are good ways for industry to acquire the information developed at the national labs.
Another way to transfer technology is through the exchange of engineers and scientists. Industry personnel can be placed temporarily in governmental facilities and learn from their work there. It is much less common, but federal personnel are sometimes posted in industry.
The special facilities in federal laboratories can be used if they do not have commercial competitors. This is one way technologies and techniques of federal laboratories can be utilized.
Federal patents and software can be licensed and applied to industrial situations.
Federal laboratories can enter into agreements in which they will conduct research in co-operation with industry. Over 1000 Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA’s) have been reached between labs and private businesses.
Federal laboratories make concerted efforts to continue to improve their technology transfer. For example, a recent Department of Energy posting advertises:
“The Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2007 National Laboratory Technology Transfer Workshop will be held on May 30 – June 1, 2007, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Crystal City, VA. The intent of this open “townhall” type workshop is to explore technology transfer at the labs, with a particular focus on opportunities and issues in private sector partnerships, lab transparency, and innovative financial mechanisms that encourage entrepreneurial activity and accelerate commercialization.
All output from the presentations, Q&As, and open public dialogue on May 30 and the morning of May 31 will be gathered and distributed to DOE Senior Managers, National Lab Tech Transfer Directors and M&O contractor staff for consideration during their closed sessions for the remainder of the workshop, concluding with a set of core recommendations that will help direct detailed development of a technology transfer action plan for the Department.”