FLC Mid-Atlantic Region

 

 

INTERMEDIARIES' ROLE IN TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND
COMMERCIALIZATION OF FEDERAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

A variety of “intermediary” organizations play important roles in getting new technologies out of the lab and into the marketplace.  Some of these organizations are private companies; some are government-sponsored companies; and some are different arms of government, such as an agency of a state or city.  These organizations serve as “middlemen” between the generators of intellectual property and the companies in the private sector that create products and services.  They identify potential users, and they translate information about the new technologies to the potential users.  In addition, they work with both the developers and the users so the knowledge is transferred in a usable way.  Moreover, they become expert in a variety of mechanisms so the appropriate agreement tools are tailored for the specific circumstances.

One general type of intermediary is the “marketing intermediary.”  The marketing intermediary is an agent of the seller or buyer, or both.  These organizations obtain nonexclusive marketing rights from one or more federal labs to market their intellectual property.  They may even obtain contracts with the labs for the marketing efforts. Examples of “marketing intermediaries” that represent the labs include:


A commercial example of a “marketing intermediary” that represents the user is the MEMS Exchange, www.mems-exchange.org, which helps users find MEMS equipment and facilities available for use.

Other intermediaries can be called “contractual intermediaries” because they are authorized by the labs to enter into formal agreements with companies under defined guidelines set by the labs or agencies.  In these cases, the labs enter into a single, general agreement with the intermediary, which in turn can enter into multiple “sub” agreements with any number of private companies, universities or state/local governments.  In other words, a “contractual” intermediary participates directly in the deal between government and user.

The advantages of “contractual intermediaries” to the government include:

  • Resource leveraging.  The intermediaries can promote, identify, negotiate, make agreements and manage many relationships with very little government cost and only government oversight involvement.
  • The intermediary can gather values from multiple organizations and provide compensation directly to a lab in the form of “in-kind products and services.”
  • A lab can orchestrate partnership development and task performance without direct involvement if it so chooses.
  • Use of an intermediary under agreements such as an EUL can unlock the values of fixed government assets to apply them to contemporary government missions.
  • Depending on the nature of the relationship, government costs can be reduced from rents, leases, or other consideration, including investment in buildings and infrastructure.

Advantages of the intermediary organizations to the organizations that commercialize government technologies include:

  • Help identifying the technology/needs match.
  • Reduction in confusion.  Deals with the intermediary are more like conventional commercial deals, so companies do not have to learn complex government procedures before coming to a workable agreement.
  • Swiftness.  Typically, the intermediary can come to agreements with other organizations much faster than formation of a direct company/government relationship.
  • The intermediary can receive and leverage private sector gifts to support economic development projects that coincide and are integrated with lab missions.
  • Users can reduce capital and investments required to grow their activities by using government facilities and personnel.
  • These programs save time and money for users and allow them to accelerate their growth.

Examples of “contractual” intermediaries and their primary agreement tools include:
 

Agent

Federal Organization

Primary Tool

Purpose

Arsenal Business & Technology Partnership

US Army Watervliet

Master CRADA

Technology & business excellence; use of facilities; partnering

Biotechnology R&D Corp
www.biordc.com

ARS USDA

For profit consortium; grants; equity deals

Commercialization of USDA ARS tech

Federal Technology Center

Defense Microelectronic Activity; and Yuma Proving Ground

PIA

 

Griffiss Institute

USAF Research Lab at Rome, NY

PIA

Science, econ dev & partnership development

Henry M. Jackson Foundation
www.hjf.org

 

USUHS

Master CRADA; A foundation, congressionally established

Clinical trials; tech transfer; partnering; other support

Insitech
www.insitech.org
Picatinny Army Armament RD&E Center PIA and OTA Partnership Intermediary

In-q-tel

CIA

Equity funding

Ventures for insertion/transition

Indian Head Municipality

NSWC Indian Head

PIA

Licenses to local companies

Montana Manufacturing
Extension Center and
TechLink
 

OSD

PIA

 

Montana State U
TechLink
www.techlinkcenter.org
 

OSD

PIA

$8.1 M to start

Tech transfer;partnerships

Multiple

OSD/DOC MilTech

Partnership

Accelerate manufacturing

National Technology Transfer Center www.nttc.edu

NASA, MDA, NIOSH

Congressionally established; contracts & grants

Technology transfer

New Mexico Tech
http://infohost.nmt.edu/~ttsg
 

Air Force

PIA

Technology transfer

NIH Foundation http://ppp.od.nih.gov/
pppinfo/foundation.asp

 

NIH

 

Gift acceptance; partnering

NY State Technology Enterprise Corporation

Air Force; Rome Research Site

PIA

 

On Point

Army

Equity funding

Ventures for insertion/transition

Picatinny Innovation Center

Army Picatinny

Master CRADA

Use of facilities; econ dev; partnering

SAIC

NCI Frederick

GOCO contract

Tech transfer; facilities use

San Diego State Research
Foundation
CCAT
http://www.ccatsandiego
.org/index.shtml
 

ONR

 

 

Technology Commercialization Center
www.teccenter.org
 

NASA

Contract

Technology transfer

TEDCO

All Maryland labs & installations

PIA; MOU; contracts

Maryland economic development; form linkages; money conduit to companies to accelerate technology insertion, showcases

TRSG
www.teamtrsg.com

Aberdeen
Proving
Ground

Contract
$2.5 M over
5 years
 

Technology transfer, licensing, and partnering

University of Illinois
TRECC
www.trecc.org
 

ONR

 

Tech transfer; licensing; partnering

University of Missouri
 

US Army

EUL

Tech park

Pittsburgh Gateway Corp
FirstLink
www.dodfirstlink.com
 

OSD

PIA

First responder TT; partnering

UT/Battelle
 

ORNL

GOCO contract

GOCO contract

Wright Brothers Institute
www.wrightbrothersinstitute.org
 

USAF Research Lab

PIA

Research & econ dev

WVHTF DOD Techmatch
www.dodtechmatch.com

 

OSD

PIA

Web-based TT linking

EPA Techmatch
www.epatechmatch.com
 

EPA

 

Web-based TT linking


Some of the contracting tools between the intermediary
and the government lab/agency include:
 

Master Partnership Intermediary Agreement
 

A PIA is a MOU or contract under authority of 15 U.S.C. #3715 between the government and an intermediary organization.  PIAs facilitate technology licensing and other initiatives.  Model language for a PIA can be found  Here

   
Master Cooperative Research and Development Agreement
 

Master CRADA agreements facilitate corporate partnering with the government.  Creative use of CRADAs has been demonstrated by DOD to attract tenants and users of government facilities, equipment and people.  Revenues constitute an “endowment” for expanded R&D activities.  Resulting partnerships accelerate transfer of technologies to and from the companies.

   
Master Facilities-Use Agreement
 

Companies can use government facilities for commercial use in return for consideration that can be used to support the government missions and for technology transfer.  Master facility-use agreements help industry and universities use federal assets and help government receive “in kind” values, which can be applied to development activities.  The Army’s application of facilities-use agreements at its ammunition plants provides a well-developed model.

   
Enhanced-Use Lease
  An EUL falls under agency-by-agency legislative authority allowing a lab or installation to enter into long-term leases of underutilized government property for consideration.
   
Venture Funding Master Contract
  Several government entities are engaging the commercial sector via venture financing to accelerate insertion of developing technologies to support government missions.  Examples are the CIA’s In-Q-Tel, NASA’s “Red Planet Ventures,” and the Army CECOM’s On-Point initiatives.
   
Master IPA allows facile turnover of talent
   
Master “work for others” agreements facilitate corporate use of government equipment and expertise.  They also serve to open doors between industry and government, and can lead to closer partnering arrangements.
   
In addition, multiple agreement mechanisms can be combined to cover complex needs.
   
 
 

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