federal labs

Strengthening place-based innovation ecosystems: DOE opens request for information

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requests input from stakeholders on place-based innovation activities leveraging research institutions, such as (but not limited to) DOE’s national laboratories and sites. Feedback collected as part of this RFI will inform DOE’s future program planning and development efforts. The RFI is an opportunity to provide input on how DOE can catalyze and sustain place-based ecosystems across the country.

CIA launches its own federal lab for R&D

The Central Intelligence Agency is launching CIA Labs, a federal lab and in-house research and development arm intended to drive science and technology breakthroughs surrounding intelligence challenges. It establishes the CIA as a research partner for other federal labs, academia and industry in disciplines including artificial intelligence and biotechnology, quantum computing, advanced materials and manufacturing. Its research areas include:

Pilot study of Defense labs’ R&D partnerships finds $23 billion economic impact

The Department of Defense commissioned a pilot study by TechLink of the economic impact of cooperative R&D agreements (CRADAs) at three Defense labs — U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division, and the Air Force Research Laboratory 711th Human Performance Wing. The study received information on 628 of 645 completed CRADAs from 1996-2018, 168 of which resulted in sales for the lab’s industry partner. Related sales were $8.7 billion, of which $4.9 billion went to the U.S. military, and TechLink’s IMPLAN analysis estimates $3 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues as part of a $23 billion economic impact. CRADAs are a partnership mechanism available across the U.S. federal lab system: learn about this, and other tools, from the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer.

FLC calling for state & local government partnership success stories

The Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) is accepting federal laboratory T2 partnership story submissions for an online publication of state and local government successes this year. Recognizing that federal lab and state and local government partnerships are critical to the nation’s economy, FLC will showcase the regional value that results from such partnerships. The stories will be published in the FLC Success Stories Gallery and promoted across different media channels. The submission deadline is Oct. 11, and submissions must be made through the FLC portal.

Roadmap provided for university research and tech commercialization

As a bedrock of American innovation, universities and federal laboratories research and develop new products that help drive economic growth. A new study from the Economic Growth Institute at the University of Michigan aims to improve national competitiveness in this arena by providing a roadmap for universities that includes best practices on translating research from the lab to the marketplace.

R&D expenditures at FFRDCs rise for fourth straight year; Pi Day Chart!

Research and development (R&D) expenditures at federally funded R&D centers (FFRDCs) increased for the fourth consecutive year in FY 2017, eclipsing $20 billion, according to new data from the National Science Foundation. FFRDCs are privately operated R&D organizations that are substantially financed by the federal government. The FFRDCs that performed the most R&D in 2017 were DOE’s Sandia National Lab, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and DOE’s Los Alamos National Lab. From FY 2016 to FY 2017, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, based in Pasadena, CA, experienced the largest increase in R&D expenditures, rising 25.5 percent to $2.3 billion.  In honor of pie day, the chart below shows the distribution of R&D at FFRDC’s by each administrator type.


New DOE partnering service provides simplified access to national labs

The U.S. Department of Energy has launched a new Lab Partnering Service (LPS) that provides an online, single access point platform for investors, innovators and institutions to identify, locate and obtain information on the department’s 17 national laboratories. The new tool is intended to provide industry with a more efficient way to harness technical expertise and intellectual property housed at DOE’s labs.

Express licensing accelerates tech transfer with Air Force labs

In an effort to move technologies into the commercial sector more quickly, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has introduced a one-stop shopping experience called Express Licensing. Interested innovators and entrepreneurs can visit a website featuring AFRL-developed technologies that are available for license and learn about pre-negotiated terms and pricing, eliminating the need for lengthy contract negotiations. The innovative approach was inspired by work done by the U.S. Navy, which has had success with this type of licensing model. 

Federal labs focusing on partnerships to boost tech transfer

The Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) held its national meeting this week, and the emphasis of many conversations around the conference site in San Antonio was how labs can implement new partnerships to yield greater tech transfer successes. This topic was core to a new training course at the conference led by Crane's John Dement, and at which SSTI VP Mark Skinner presented, as well as during the meeting’s Industry Day. Partnerships were also a clear factor in several of FLC’s awards, including those for a NASA technology supported by the University of Central Florida, a Sandia Labs partnership with the state of New Jersey on a post-Superstorm Sandy microgrid project, and an individual award to Elizabeth Brooke Pyne that specifically cited her role in developing a Lilly Endowment-funded collaboration between Crane and Indiana universities. SSTI is also currently working with two of the FLC regions to produce reports on opportunities for new lab partnerships to promote innovation and tech transfer.

DOE releases guide to the National Labs



Subscribe to RSS - federal labs