DC Dispatch
July 24, 2015
OMB Guidance for FY 2017 S&T Budget Priorities
OMB in conjunction with OSTP has now issued: its annual guidance to agency heads for
developing the S&T components of their FY 2017 budget submittals. The guidance
memorandum states “[F]ederal government funding for research and development (R&D)
is essential to address[ing] societal needs in areas in which the private sector does not
have sufficient economic incentive to make the required investments. Key among these
is basic research - the fundamental, curiosity-driven inquiry that is a hallmark of the
American research enterprise and a powerful driver of new technology. Simply
supporting research is not sufficient, however, Federal agencies should ensure that the
results of that research are made available to other scientists, to the public, and to
innovators who can translate them into the businesses and products that will improve all
of our lives [my emphasis].”
The memorandum notes that in addition to agency-specific, mission-driven research,
including fundamental research, resources should also be focused on the following
topical areas that cut across multiple agencies: global climate change; clean energy; earth
observations; advanced manufacturing; innovation in the life sciences, biology and
neurosciences; national and homeland security; information technology and highperformance computing; ocean and arctic issues; and R&D for informed policy-making
and management. These areas are consistent with prior years’ guidance.
Of particular interest to our community, the guidance states “[T]ransforming research
results and technologies to new products and services is a key step in realizing the economic
and quality-of-life improvements the taxpayer expects from Federal investments in R&D.
Commercialization of Federal R&D is therefore one of the core responsibilities of each R&D
supporting agency. Agency budget proposals should prioritize and highlight contributions to
the Lab-to-Market Cross-Agency Priority Goal, such as entrepreneurial personnel
exchanges, commercialization training, and other programs that have the potential to
accelerate and improve the transfer of new technologies from the laboratory to the
marketplace.” [my emphasis] See DC Dispatch 5-22-15 for a blurb on the earlier
overarching budget guidance memorandum. (Original Sources: White House web site)
New From NSF
Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit
Institutions: FY 2013 presents “FY 2013 data on federal obligations to academic and
nonprofit institutions for science and engineering research and development. Data
include type of activity and trends, as well as ranking by state, agency, and individual
institution.” (NSF web site)
Gary K. Jones, FLC DC Representative, [email protected]
FLCBus Called Out in NSTC Working Group Report
(Oops – How Did I Miss This; From Fall 2014)
In September 2014, the Interagency Working Group on Federal Security Laboratories and
Infrastructure: (under the NSTC’s Committee on Homeland and National Security),
released a report titled, Recommended Goals to Modernize and Revitalize Federal
Security Laboratory Facilities and Infrastructure. On page 9, under the title Goal #3:
Create an Online Catalog of National Security F&I to Effectively Communicate the
Value and Opportunities Associated with Federal Resources and Capabilities, the report
notes, “[T]he Working Group recommends developing the catalog in a discipline- and
laboratory-agnostic manner and in partnership with managers of existing resources, such
as those managed by OMB and the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC).
• OMB, through the Federal Real Property Council (FRPC), maintains a Federal real
property database that classifies F&I at Federal laboratories using unique identifiers.
However, the database is not comprehensive since it captures the dominant use rather
than all capabilities the F&I supports.
• FLC maintains an online list of 314 F&I resources and capabilities across Federal
laboratories. The FLC list is based on web-search data and a voluntary data call, and
it is incomplete and inconsistent in its current state.
The new catalog should employ identifiers used by the FLC and OMB to enable
consistent tracking of assets across existing databases.”
NSTC sits within the Office of Science and Technology Policy and “is the principal
means within the executive branch to coordinate science and technology policy across the
diverse entities that make up the Federal research and development enterprise. Chaired by
the President, the membership of the NSTC is made up of the Vice President, the
Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Cabinet Secretaries and Agency
Heads with significant science and technology responsibilities, and other White House
officials. A primary objective of the NSTC is the establishment of clear national goals for
Federal science and technology investments in a broad array of areas spanning virtually
all the mission areas of the executive branch.” (Original Sources: White House web site)
OSTP Seeks Participants in ‘Challenge Prize’ Event
This fall the Federal government will celebrate: “the fifth anniversary of Challenge.gov, a
one-stop shop that has prompted tens of thousands of individuals, including engaged
citizens and entrepreneurs, to participate in more than 400 public-sector prize
competitions with more than $72 million in prizes.” From the White House blog, “[this
event will] highlight the role that prizes play in solving critical national and global issues.
The event will showcase public- and private-sector relevant commitments from Federal,
state, and local agencies, companies, foundations, universities, and non-profits.
Individuals and organizations interested in participating in this event or making
commitments should send us a note at [email protected] by August 28, 2015 (my
emphasis).” (Original Sources: White House blog)
Gary K. Jones, FLC DC Representative, [email protected]
DOE in the News
Hosts 2nd National Lab Day on the Hill
DOE recently hosted: the second in a series of five planned Congressional events
designed to “highlight the national laboratory system as a cornerstone of the U.S.
innovation ecosystem.” From a summary by AIP, “the event highlighted the national
labs’ contributions toward the development of a new, modernized energy infrastructure
for the nation. It featured remarks from high-level DOE officials, Members of Congress,
and national lab directors, and exhibits in four DOE systems areas related to energy
infrastructure: electric grid modernization; subsurface science; sustainable transportation;
and integrated energy systems. … For the next three National Lab Days on Capitol Hill,
which will be held at six-month intervals, the DOE will highlight other areas of its
mission: national security, basic science research, and then environmental management.”
(Original Sources: AIP web site)
Pilot a Small Business Vouchers Program
DOE recently announced: a Small Business Vouchers pilot, “a public-private partnership
connecting small businesses with DOE scientists, engineers, and facilities.” From a
summary by SSTI, “[T]hrough the program’s funding, labs will provide vouchers,
ranging from $50,000 to $300,000, to more than 100 small businesses in an effort to help
leverage the expertise and tools at the labs for product testing, validation, introduction,
and expansion. The Energy Department will also launch the Small Business Central
Assistance Platform, a web-based tool to assist in communication between small
businesses and DOE Labs and facilitate the vouchers. The five Energy Department
National Laboratories selected for the pilot are: Oak Ridge National Laboratory ($5.6
million); National Renewable Energy Laboratory ($4.9 million); Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory ($4.2 million); Sandia National Laboratories ($2.8 million); and,
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory ($2.7 million).” See the DOE press release for
more details. (Original Sources: SSTI web site, DOE web site)
AAAS Opens 2015 Leadership Seminar Nominations
AAAS has announced: that its 2015 Leadership Seminar in Science and Technology
Policy, scheduled for November 16-20 is open for nominations. From the website, “[This
seminar] is a ‘crash course’ in science and technology (S&T) policy, designed for those
who need to know how S&T policy works. … Space is limited to only 30 to 35
participants--the small group setting provides an ideal opportunity to learn about the
challenges and solutions of S&T policy from the experts. … [Those who should consider
attending include] anyone who needs or wants to know how S&T policy works at both
macro and micro levels — scientists and engineers, administrators, and managers in any
sector (industry, academia, or government). Specifically, this includes federal grant
recipients and managers, industrial R&D managers, agency program managers,
association officials, public affairs or government affairs specialists, science diplomats,
and others.” (Original Sources: AAAS web site)
Gary K. Jones, FLC DC Representative, [email protected]
Update on Innovation Act (HR 9)
Leadership in the House of Representatives has reportedly removed: Rep. Goodlatte’s
Innovation Act (H.R. 9) “from House Floor consideration for this summer – indicating
that the bill is not yet ready for a consensus vote.” From Patently-O, “[S]ome amount of
opposition had been building within Congress, including a joint press conference [July
14] that included U.S. Representatives John Conyers (D-Mich.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.),
Bill Foster (D-Ill.), and Scott Peters (D-Calif.) as well as Senators Chris Coons (DDel.) and David Vitter. In their press release, the group wrote that ‘H.R. 9 is strongly
opposed by inventors, small businesses, venture capitalists, startup communities, and
manufacturing, technology, and life sciences companies.’ A compromise bill has some
chance this fall and we can expect more aggressive PR campaigns showing the woes of
patent trolls as well as the benefits of patent-driven innovation.” See related articles in
US News and World Report, and IP-Watchdog. (Original Sources: Patently-O blog, US
News web site, IP-Watchdog blog)
Call to Action for Federal Commitment to Innovation
A growing list of organizations and institutions from across the country has signed: a new
“call to action to restore the federal government’s commitment to scientific research and
discovery.” From a blurb from SSTI, “Innovation: An American Imperative provides
seven areas of focus for Congressional action, including to end the sequestration
spending caps on research funding, make the federal R&D tax credit permanent, fund
training and incentives for STEM educators, reform U.S. visa policy, streamlining
research regulations, reaffirm merit-base peer review and stimulate advanced
manufacturing.” See related blurb on this topic by AIP. (Original Sources: SSTI web
site, amacad web site, AIP web site)
Note: The DC Dispatch is a periodic update of selected items of interest to the FLC and
technology transfer community -- i.e., current legislation, trends, reports, policy and other
developments potentially affecting technology transfer or related activities -- designed to
keep the community informed of relevant issues on a timely basis. Information is
gleaned directly from a variety of sources (newsletters, email alerts, web sites, direct
participation at events from the FLC DC Representative’s office, etc.) -- with original
sources, contacts and links provided.
Gary K. Jones, FLC DC Representative, [email protected]

July 24 - Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer