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NIST releases draft plan for federal engagement in AI, seeks comments

In response to a February Executive Order directing federal agencies to take steps to ensure the U.S. is a world-leader in artificial intelligence, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a new draft plan on the need for AI standards. The draft document, U.S. Leadership in AI: Plan for Federal Engagement in Developing Technical Standards and Related Tools, recommends four broad actions: bolster AI standards-related knowledge, leadership and coordination among federal agencies; promote focused research on the “trustworthiness” of AI; support and expand public-private partnerships; and engage with international parties.

NIST releases tech transfer recommendations

Describing the 125+ page document outlining the administration’s thoughts regarding the movement of federal R&D into market use as a “discussion guide, not a policy document,”  Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Walter Copan announced the report’s release April 24 during the early minutes of the national convening of one of the communities most directly affected by any changes likely to result from the document: the technology licensing practitioners and offices which make up the Federal Laboratories Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC). 

NIST tech transfer recommendations a good starting point, more is needed

NIST released a draft paper in December making recommendations for improvements to federal technology transfer and commercialization policy. The agency’s ideas ranged from clarifying march-in rights to compelling agency participation in technology entrepreneurship development. Although NIST is one of the agencies affected by the shutdown, comments on the draft paper were due Jan. 9.

NIST recommends improvements for federal tech transfer, seeks comments

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released a paper making recommendations to improve federal technology transfer. Recommendations are organized around five topics: regulation and administration, private-sector engagement, R&D workforce, tech transfer tools, and metrics and benchmarks. These recommendations — and the responses they generate — are expected to lead to regulatory and legislative proposals over the course of the next two years.

NIST connecting entrepreneurs, industry and investors in the cloud

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is funding a program to better connect entrepreneurs, industry and investors with inventions from federally funded R&D. NIST has created a partnership with National Technical Information Service (NTIS) and will invest $1.7 million of its Lab to Market funding to complete the project.

Four states selected for Policy Academy to strengthen manufacturing

Four states have been selected to participate in a Policy Academy designed to help grow and strengthen manufacturing in their states. State teams will begin meeting on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. with policy experts to develop or further refine strategies to bolster manufacturing. The four participants chosen for the Policy Academy are Kentucky, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and Utah.

Commerce sets new, hands-off direction for department

In a shift from its past economic development efforts, the U.S. Department of Commerce FY2018-2023 strategic plan would move the department to focus almost exclusively on being a commercial services entity. The plan’s points of emphasis are on streamlined permitting and regulations, with direct government activity primarily reserved for common good services — e.g., economic data, cybersecurity and IP protection.

Turning blockchain from hype to reality, NIST report

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a new 59-page draft report – NIST Interagency Report (NISTIR) 8202: Blockchain Technology Overview – that attempts to move beyond the recent hype surrounding Bitcoin and other digital currencies (or cryptocurrencies) to help businesses and others understand what the blockchain is and decide whether it would be an asset to their products. Dylan Yaga, a NIST computer scientist and one of the report’s authors, also hopes that the report will provide readers with a picture of blockchain that is not skewed to any players’ interests and is easily understood from an unbiased front.

NIST Director prioritizing transfer law, process updates

The American Institute of Physics reports that National Institute of Standards and Technology Director Walter Copan expressed interest in reviewing the Bayh-Dole and Stevenson-Wydler acts for possible revisions. Both pieces of legislation were passed in 1980 to facilitate the transfer of discoveries from the public to the private sector. Copan did not indicate specific changes but mentioned conflicts between federal and state law as a problem.

US House appropriations bills would make major cuts to innovation

The House Appropriations Committee began releasing FY 2018 “markup” budget bills this week, and the proposals would cut billions in non-defense spending. EDA would lose $100 million* in funding, SBA’s entrepreneurial development programs would lose $34 million, NIST’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership would lose $30 million, and Energy’s ARPA-E would be eliminated, among other cuts.

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