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The Administration’s Draft ROI Report: A Promising Roadmap for Accelerating Tech Transfer

After months of anticipation, the just released draft paper Return on Investment Initiative to Advance the President’s Management Agenda: Unleashing American Innovation signals that the Administration is serious about addressing a wide range of long neglected issues undermining effective technology commercialization.The paper, generated under the leadership of Commerce Under Secretary Walter Copan, who heads the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is “a discussion document”  based on feedback from a series of public meetings and written comments for improving the return on investment from $150 B spent annually on government-supported R&D… The suggested action is to “authorize scientists and engineers at Federal Laboratories to engage in entrepreneurial activities that support technology transfer and commercialization.”… The report effectively addresses a wide variety of problems in the system. Many have lingered for decades but the government lacked the leadership and the will to address them. It looks like that may be ending. That’s a good thing for American taxpayers.
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