(1) It is the continuing responsibility of the Federal Government to ensure the full use of the results of the Nation’s Federal investment in research and development. To this end the Federal Government shall strive where appropriate to transfer federally owned or originated technology to State and local governments and to the priv
(2) Technology transfer, consistent with mission responsibilities, is a responsibility of each laboratory science and engineering professional.
(3) Each laboratory director shall ensure that efforts to transfer technology are considered positively in laboratory job descriptions, employee promotion policies, and evaluation of the job performance of scientists and engineers in the laboratory.
Functions of Research and Technology Applications Offices
It shall be the function of each Office of Research and Technology Applications—
(1) to prepare application assessments for selected research and development projects in which that laboratory is engaged and which in the opinion of the laboratory may have potential commercial applications;
(2) to provide and disseminate information on federally owned or originated products, processes, and services having potential application to State and local governments and to private industry;
(3) to cooperate with and assist the National Technical Information Service, the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer, and other organizations which link the research and development resources of that laboratory and the Federal Government as a whole to potential users in State and local government and private industry;
(4) to provide technical assistance to State and local government officials; and
(5) to participate, where feasible, in regional, State, and local programs designed to facilitate or stimulate the transfer of technology for the benefit of the region, State, or local jurisdiction in which the Federal laboratory is located.
Agencies which have established organizational structures outside their Federal laboratories which have as their principal purpose the transfer of federally owned or originated technology to State and local government and to the private sector may elect to perform the functions of this subsection in such organizational structures. No Office of Research and Technology Applications or other organizational structures performing the functions of this subsection shall substantially compete with similar services available in the private sector.
Dissemination of technical information
The National Technical Information Service shall—
(1) serve as a central clearinghouse for the collection, dissemination and transfer of information on federally owned or originated technologies having potential application to State and local governments and to private industry;
(2) utilize the expertise and services of the National Science Foundation and the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer; particularly in dealing with State and local governments;
(3) receive requests for technical assistance from State and local governments, respond to such requests with published information available to the Service, and refer such requests to the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer to the extent that such requests require a response involving more than the published information available to the Service;
(4) provide funding, at the discretion of the Secretary, for Federal laboratories to provide the assistance specified in subsection (c)(3);
(5) use appropriate technology transfer mechanisms such as personnel exchanges and computer-based systems; and
(6) maintain a permanent archival repository and clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of nonclassified scientific, technical, and engineering information.
Establishment of Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer
There is hereby established the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (hereinafter referred to as the “Consortium”) which, in cooperation with Federal laboratories and the private sector, shall—
(A) develop and (with the consent of the Federal laboratory concerned) administer techniques, training courses, and materials concerning technology transfer to increase the awareness of Federal laboratory employees regarding the commercial potential of laboratory technology and innovations;
(B) furnish advice and assistance requested by Federal agencies and laboratories for use in their technology transfer programs (including the planning of seminars for small business and other industry);
provide a clearinghouse for requests, received at the laboratory level, for technical assistance from States and units of local governments, businesses, industrial development organizations, not-for-profit organizations including universities, Federal agencies and laboratories, and other persons, and—
(i) to the extent that such requests can be responded to with published information available to the National Technical Information Service, refer such requests to that Service, and
(ii) otherwise refer these requests to the appropriate Federal laboratories and agencies;
(D) facilitate communication and coordination between Offices of Research and Technology Applications of Federal laboratories;
(E) utilize (with the consent of the agency involved) the expertise and services of the National Science Foundation, the Department of Commerce, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other Federal agencies, as necessary;
(F) with the consent of any Federal laboratory, facilitate the use by such laboratory of appropriate technology transfer mechanisms such as personnel exchanges and computer-based systems;
(G) with the consent of any Federal laboratory, assist such laboratory to establish programs using technical volunteers to provide technical assistance to communities related to such laboratory;
(H) facilitate communication and cooperation between Offices of Research and Technology Applications of Federal laboratories and regional, State, and local technology transfer organizations;
(I) when requested, assist colleges or universities, businesses, nonprofit organizations, State or local governments, or regional organizations to establish programs to stimulate research and to encourage technology transfer in such areas as technology program development, curriculum design, long-term research planning, personnel needs projections, and productivity assessments;
(J) seek advice in each Federal laboratory consortium region from representatives of State and local governments, large and small business, universities, and other appropriate persons on the effectiveness of the program (and any such advice shall be provided at no expense to the Government); and
(K) work with the Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research to compile a compendium of current and projected Federal Laboratory technologies and projects that have or will have an intended or recognized impact on the available range of assistive technology for individuals with disabilities (as defined in section 3002 of title 29), including technologies and projects that incorporate the principles of universal design (as defined in section 3002 of title 29), as appropriate.
(2) The membership of the Consortium shall consist of the Federal laboratories described in clause (1) of subsection (b) and such other laboratories as may choose to join the Consortium. The representatives to the Consortium shall include a senior staff member of each Federal laboratory which is a member of the Consortium and a senior representative appointed from each Federal agency with one or more member laboratories.
(3) The representatives to the Consortium shall elect a Chairman of the Consortium.
(4) The Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology shall provide the Consortium, on a reimbursable basis, with administrative services, such as office space, personnel, and support services of the Institute, as requested by the Consortium and approved by such Director.
(5) Each Federal laboratory or agency shall transfer technology directly to users or representatives of users, and shall not transfer technology directly to the Consortium. Each Federal laboratory shall conduct and transfer technology only in accordance with the practices and policies of the Federal agency which owns, leases, or otherwise uses such Federal laboratory.
(6) Not later than one year after October 20, 1986, and every year thereafter, the Chairman of the Consortium shall submit a report to the President, to the appropriate authorization and appropriation committees of both Houses of the Congress, and to each agency with respect to which a transfer of funding is made (for the fiscal year or years involved) under paragraph (7), concerning the activities of the Consortium and the expenditures made by it under this subsection during the year for which the report is made. Such report shall include an annual independent audit of the financial statements of the Consortium, conducted in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), an amount equal to 0.008 percent of the budget of each Federal agency from any Federal source, including related overhead, that is to be utilized by or on behalf of the laboratories of such agency for a fiscal year referred to in subparagraph (B)(ii) shall be transferred by such agency to the National Institute of Standards and Technology at the beginning of the fiscal year involved. Amounts so transferred shall be provided by the Institute to the Consortium for the purpose of carrying out activities of the Consortium under this subsection.
(B) A transfer shall be made by any Federal agency under subparagraph (A), for any fiscal year, only if the amount so transferred by that agency (as determined under such subparagraph) would exceed $10,000.
(C) The heads of Federal agencies and their designees, and the directors of Federal laboratories, may provide such additional support for operations of the Consortium as they deem appropriate.
Functions of Secretary
The Secretary, in consultation with other Federal agencies, may—
(A) make available to interested agencies the expertise of the Department of Commerce regarding the commercial potential of inventions and methods and options for commercialization which are available to the Federal laboratories, including research and development limited partnerships;
(B) develop and disseminate to appropriate agency and laboratory personnel model provisions for use on a voluntary basis in cooperative research and development arrangements; and
(C) furnish advice and assistance, upon request, to Federal agencies concerning their cooperative research and development programs and projects.
Annual report required.—The Secretary, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, shall submit each fiscal year, beginning 1 year after November 1, 2000, a summary report to the President, the United States Trade Representative, and the Congress on the use by Federal agencies and the Secretary of the technology transfer authorities specified in this chapter and in sections 207 and 209 of title 35.
The report shall—
(i) draw upon the reports prepared by the agencies under subsection (f);
(ii) discuss technology transfer best practices and effective approaches in the licensing and transfer of technology in the context of the agencies’ missions; and
(iii) discuss the progress made toward development of additional useful measures of the outcomes of technology transfer programs of Federal agencies.
Public availability.—The Secretary shall make the report available to the public through Internet sites or other electronic means.
Not later than one year after October 20, 1986, the Secretary shall submit to the President and the Congress a report regarding—
(A) any copyright provisions or other types of barriers which tend to restrict or limit the transfer of federally funded computer software to the private sector and to State and local governments, and agencies of such State and local governments; and
(B) the feasibility and cost of compiling and maintaining a current and comprehensive inventory of all federally funded training software.
(Pub. L. 96–480, § 11, Oct. 21, 1980, 94 Stat. 2318; renumbered § 10 and amended Pub. L. 99–502, §§ 3–5, 9(e)(1), Oct. 20, 1986, 100 Stat. 1787, 1789, 1791, 1797; renumbered § 11 and amended Pub. L. 100–418, title V, §§ 5115(b)(2), 5122(a)(1), 5162(b), 5163(c)(1), (3), Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1433, 1438, 1450, 1451;