The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) is a national network of federal laboratories that are involved with the patenting and licensing of inventions. These labs include, as examples, the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Standards and Technology. Moving technology from place to place, usually from innovator to commercial developer, is a major part of an overarching strategy to manage innovation.
I was involved in the early 90s with the FLC while heading up the NIH technology transfer office, and appreciated very much the networking and information sharing with colleagues. As an historical footnote, the Association of Federal Technology Transfer Executives (AFTTE) was also very active in this space. I was involved in its launch along with a few colleagues and good friends, Joe Allen, Jon Soderstrom, Mary Ann Guerra, among others. Members were later encouraged to move to the FLC and to the Association for University Technology Managers, another excellent professional society.
The FLC publishes a very helpful reference book (linked to this post’s title), which is free to download. I recommend Section 3 for anybody looking for a general overview of the considerations involved in the technology transfer process. And, particularly, the graphic on page 20 of the book. Section 7 about marketing and communications could also be useful to skim. Overall, it’s mostly useful for the staff of a federal technology transfer office as it gets a bit granular about how to do what they do. But there is some great background coverage that could be useful as various stages along the path arise. However, it doesn’t have much by way of practical guidance. Look to up-coming posts in this blog for some “how-tos” and best practices!