The United States spends more than any other nation on R&D each year, investing over $150 billion in federally funded R&D alone. Critical technologies such as life-saving drugs, vaccines, medical devices, the internet, GPS and countless other innovations underpinning every aspect of the American way of life are traceable to groundbreaking work at federal laboratories, federally funded universities and private-sector R&D organizations.

As part of the Lab-to-Market Cross Agency Priority (CAP) Goal in the President’s Management Agenda, the green paper’s findings can help to inform future deliberations, decision-making and possible actions that could maximize the return on taxpayer investment in federally funded R&D. This should, in turn, strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness and support U.S. national security needs.

Incorporating extensive feedback from industry, academic and government stakeholders, the NIST report describes options for enhancing how federally funded inventions move from the laboratory to the marketplace by:  

streamlining federal regulations,  
enabling greater flexibility for public-private partnerships,  
increasing engagement with private-sector investors,  
building a more entrepreneurial workforce, and 
improving support for innovation by clarifying the intended purpose of “march-in rights.” 
The green paper serves as a discussion document that informs, but does not prescribe, policy decisions by the federal government. No findings in this final green paper would require legislative changes to the Bayh-Dole Act. 

 “The United States has the best universities, research institutes and federal labs in the world, and we need modern approaches that work at the speed of business to get the most from their R&D outcomes,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.  

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