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Innovation bills pass Congress at end of session

Near the end of 2020, Congress passed the FY 2021 defense authorization (overriding a presidential veto) and folded multiple policy bills into the joint appropriations and coronavirus relief bill. This legislation includes new authorizations for semiconductor research facilities, clean and renewable energy innovation, and new studies of assets for critical research areas.

Innovation-related policies within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2021 include the following:

NIST reveals regulatory, legislative changes to tech transfer

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has continued to follow through on improvements to federal technology transfer proposed through the Return on Investment initiative. In December, the agency revealed legislative text for statutory changes and, on Monday, released a notice of proposed rulemaking related to Bayh-Dole.

NIST appoints new associate director for innovation and industry services

Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) named Mojdeh Bahar as the new associate director for innovation and industry services (ADIIS).

Bipartisan legislation would provide $110 billion for R&D, regional innovation

A bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators have introduced bills that would make a five-year commitment to increase America’s investment in R&D by $100 billion, while also investing $10 bi

NIST seeking pathways for including non-federal manufacturing centers in national network

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking to expand the network of Manufacturing USA centers for innovation, providing pathways for participation from external industry organizations, according to a recent notice in the Federal Register.

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 fo

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.

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