CAE Submits Comment Letter to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Regarding Reform of Federal Technology Transfer Authorities and Processes

August 3, 2018

For Immediate Release
2 minutes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – John R. Dearie, President of the Center for American Entrepreneurship, today issued the following statement regarding CAE’s submission of a letter of comment to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST):

“On July 30th, the Center for American Entrepreneurship submitted a letter of comment in response to the Request for Information in the Federal Register on May 1, 2018 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) seeking comment on federal technology transfer authorities and processes.

“In our letter, CAE respectfully asserts that the following key priorities should guide NIST’s efforts to reform tech transfer policies and practices across federally-funded research entities:

  • Increase market-readiness: Expand on existing pilots and develop proof-of-concept programs that ready promising innovations for commercialization;
  • Align incentives: Ensure that federal actors and federally-funded researchers have the right incentives to invest in commercialization and focus on outcomes;
  • Facilitate commercialization of patented innovations: Reduce search costs and facilitate ease of access, license, and use for federally-held and -funded patents through greater standardization of agreements, especially across federal labs;
  • Open facilities: Increase entrepreneurs’ access to federally-funded research facilities, equipment, and researchers’ expertise;
  • Expand entrepreneurship education: Ensure that federal and university researchers who seek to commercialize innovations have access to entrepreneurship training and relevant private sector expertise;
  • Better leverage existing programs: SBIR/STTR, I-Corps, Small Business Vouchers, and other programs can be powerful vehicles for commercialization activities, but would benefit from key reforms – or, in the case of I-Corps and Small Business Vouchers, significant expansion;
  • Expand university-based translational activities: At universities, encourage commercialization activities as well as industry collaboration among post-doctoral fellows; and,
  • Improve evaluation: Encourage long-term tracking and evaluation of tech transfer and commercialization policies and programs.

“In our letter, CAE also proposes specific practices and policies in order to advance those recommended priorities.”

Read the full letter.


The Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE) is a nonpartisan research, policy, and advocacy organization whose mission is to engage and educate policymakers in Washington, and at state and local levels across the nation, regarding the critical importance of entrepreneurs and start-ups to innovation, economic growth, and job creation – and to pursue a comprehensive policy agenda intended to significantly enhance the circumstances for new business formation, survival, and growth.

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