Session Descriptions

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29 Session 1A:  What Are the Innovative Ways Labs/Agencies Have Implemented Marketing Strategies?

  • Moderator:  Paul Zielinski, FLC
    • Speakers: Sean Sullivan, NASA
    • Richard Rodriquez, National Cancer Institute

It is commonly said that technology transfer is a “contact sport”, but making that initial contact is a critical component of success. Simply putting material on the internet is necessary, but far from sufficient in a busy world. While we all have limited budgets, a well-planned marketing strategy can help lead to connections and results. Highly successful programs at NASA and the National Cancer Institute will share some of their insights to connect technologies to potential customers and markets. Session 1B: To Protect or Not to Protect: How Agencies Decide Whether to Seek Intellectual Property Protection for an Invention?

  • Moderator:    Mojdeh Bahar, U.S. Department of Agriculture
    • Panelists:    Tom Stackhouse,  National Cancer Institute
    • Alice Welch, Food and Drug Administration
    • Linda Burger, National Security Agency
    • Mary Monson, Sandia National Laboratories
    • Brian Nakanishi, U.S. Department of Agriculture

In this panel, a diverse set of agencies will share the factors they consider in seeking IP protection. While each agency’s mission requires some specific criteria, some factors may be common to all agencies. The panelists represent technology transfer offices from the Food and Drug Administration, National Cancer Institute, Agricultural Research Service – U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Security Agency and Sandia Laboratories – Department of Energy. Session 2A: Regional Updates Join us to hear from each of the FLC Region leaders, who will discuss upcoming events and important initiatives for 2020 and beyond. Session 2B: ROI ─ Creating IP with a Commercialization Intent ─ How Do We Create More Valuable IP? 

  • Moderator:  Henry Wixon, National Institute of Standards and Technology
    • Speakers: Gail E Poulos, USDA ARS
    • Ami D. Gadhia, National Institutes of Health

Technology transfer offices across government, and even our partners in universities and the private sector, have a big decision to make when determining which inventions should be filed as a patent application.  This is an especially difficult decision as a government mission focused laboratory that is not motivated simply by the bottom line of profit rather than practical application.  Are inventors often did not begin their experiment with an eye toward the eventual outcome of a patent.  Connecting the cycle between the patent decision process back to the researchers is essential to improve the development of more valuable intellectual property that has more direct market applications and a more predictable pathway to licensing.  This session will include experts for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health who will share their experience in improving the commercial potential for government IP. THURSDAY, APRIL 30 Oregon Businesses – Come Partner with the FLC

  • Moderator: David McFeeters-Krone

Join this interactive session where we will introduce the Portland metro area business partners to the Federal Labs Consortium (FLC) and vice versa. This high energy presentation will inform and tantalize the audience on what collaboration with the FLC makes possible. You’ll learn about the unique opportunities to partner with the FLC. Consortium attendees won’t want to miss this once-in-a-decade moment to explore what Portland metro area firms have to offer. We encourage each agency to send a representative to promote their technologies and to network with industry. Our moderator, business ambassador David McFeeters-Krone, will be on hand to facilitate any connections you wish to pursue. Keynote Address:  Derick Botha, NuScale Power Nuclear technology: What it takes to go from new idea to first plant deployment. The NuScale concept was first proposed in 2000 and has attracted more than $900M in funding towards first plant deployment in 2026. This session will also cover some of the work NuScale does in collaboration with U.S. national laboratories to commercialize new technologies, including deployment of NuScale’s Small Modular Reactor (SMR) at the Idaho National Laboratory site. Session 3A: Innovative Tech Transfer Programs and Mechanisms at FLC Labs

  • Speakers: Whitney Hastings, Food & Drug Administration
    • Laura Prestia, National Cancer Institute/NIH
    • Mojdeh Bahar, USDA ARS
    • Mary L. Sylvia, Naval Undersea Warfare Center
    • Peter Christensen Peterson, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

This session will highlight federal laboratories that have successfully implemented innovative or unconventional technology transfer approaches for an increase in technology transfer (T2) activities. The speaker will discuss novel uses of technology transfer mechanisms to enhance the commercial potential of federal technologies and facilitate their commercialization. Programs implemented to engage inventors in the commercialization process, while also engaging the community and potential licensees about available federal technologies and opportunities, will be featured in this session. Session 3B: Economic Impact of CRADAs

  • Moderator: John Dement, NSWC Crane Division
    • Speakers: Jenna Dix, NSWC Crane Division
    • Michael Wallner, TechLink

CRADAs are the primary “go to” collaboration tool for labs to both support their unique missions and partner with the private sector in support of their pursuits. A recent pilot economic impact study performed by TechLink on three DoD labs has begun to quantify the benefit to the nation’s warfighters and to our partners. This interactive session will discuss the better-than-expected findings and what they mean to the participating labs. Session 4A: Challenges and Solutions for Commercializing Federally Funded Research at Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute – Working with the Federal Labs

  • Moderator:  Robert “Skip” Rung, Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute
    • Speakers:  Peter Christensen, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
    • Paul King, Ampere Scientific
    • Brian Wall, Oregon State University

The United States became a wealthy and successful nation in large part due to entrepreneurial development and commercialization of breakthrough technologies and business models. U.S  taxpayers annually fund about $120B in research performed at federal laboratories, universities and companies with the expectations that critical national missions will be advanced and that there will be significant economic impact in the form of high-wage jobs and high-return investments. This panel of senior leaders will engage the audience in a discussing the challenges and opportunities for translating research findings into products, companies, revenue and jobs. Session 4B: Managing, Protecting and Safeguarding Intellectual Property in a Hyper-Competitive World

  • Speaker:  Brian Lally, U.S. Department of Energy

In a disruptive era, where a few emerging areas of science and technology have the potential to rapidly shift global dynamics, managing, protecting and safeguarding federally funded intellectual property has never been more important or challenging. Session 4C: Place Making and Federal Labs: Building Communities of Innovation Around Federal Research Institutions

  • Moderator: Jacky Kerby Moore, Sandia National Laboratories
    • Speakers: Brian Darmody, Association of University Research Parks
    • Mejghan Haider, NASA Ames Research Center
    • Ariana Farber, Military Installation Development Authority (MIDA)

Federal laboratories are anchor institutions in many communities, providing jobs and economic stability to the region. But too often they are sealed away from the communities they reside in due to security restrictions, policy limitations, and inertia. Learn the challenges and opportunities of business, community, university, and lab engagement from a panel discussion with representatives from Sandia Labs, Association of University Research Parks, NASA Ames Research Park, and MIDA. This session aims to answer the following questions:

  • What can federal labs learn from peer labs with a record of community and business engagement?
  • What lessons can federal labs take from universities that have launched innovation districts?
  • How can states and intermediary partners help?
  • How do you launch an open campus?
  • How does more engagement support federal labs’ technology transfer mission?

Session 5A: Advancing Federally Funded Innovations Together

  • Speakers:  Stephen Susalka, AUTM
    • Paul Zielinski, FLC
    • Mark Sedam, AUTM

U.S. Federal Laboratories and universities combine to account for ~$100M in federally funded research which is creating innovations that are changing the world and impacting society. Learn more about the unique arrangement between AUTM and the FLC, how it can help you, and how this will shape the future of technology transfer. Topics to discuss will include the AUTM’s lessons learned in developing a vibrant ecosystem within universities and how to increase value and impact at your federal lab. Session 5B: Legislative and Regulatory Updates

  • Speaker: Courtney Silverthorn, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Since the publication of the NIST Return on Investment Initiative Green Paper in 2019, agencies have been collaboratively working to develop updates to Bayh-Dole and Stevenson-Wydler, which guide technology transfer and commercialization efforts for both intramural and extramural inventions. Learn more about the potential changes that may improve your office’s ability to deliver technology transfer in support of your agency’s mission. Session 6A: A Unique Public-Private Partnership Model for an Early Earthquake Warning System

  • Moderator:  Sharon Borland, U.S. Geological Survey
    • Speakers:  Esther Eng, U.S. Geological Survey
    • Robert-Michael de Groot, USGS Earthquake Science Center – Pasadena Field Office

This session will provide a briefing on earthquake science and applications, the legislative background for establishing a seismic safety program, and the unique technology transfer methods used to disseminate the technology and capabilities to state and local government agencies, private sector organizations, and other partners. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) leads the effort to develop and operate an earthquake early warning (EEW) system for the west coast of the United States, called “ShakeAlert”. ShakeAlert detects significant earthquakes so quickly that it can protect lives before the shaking arrives. The USGS and a coalition of state and university partners are now implementing the public testing phase of the alert delivery to California residents; and automated actions across the west coast (e.g. slowing trains).  Session 6B: Human Element Panel: Award Winners Featured

  • Moderator:  Whitney Hastings, U.S. Food & Drug Administration
    • Speakers: David Martin, MD, MPH, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    • Ayyoub M. Momen, Ph.D., Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    • Matias Vanotti, Ph.D., USDA-ARS
    • Duncan J. Maitland, Ph.D., Texas A&M University

Select FLC Award winners will share inspiring technology transfer stories with attendees. These stories will focus on award winning technologies and/or technology transfer efforts from a human-interest perspective. Panel will discuss problems solved by their technology or technology transfer and how such success stories have changed peoples’ lives, including the lives of those involved in the tech transfer process. Lab Director’s Forum

  • Moderator: Ric Trotta, Trotta Associates
    • Speaker: Dr. Paul Kearns

Dr. Paul Kearns, Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, and the winner of the 2020 FLC Laboratory Director of the Year Award will discuss his approaches to enhancing technology transfer at the laboratory. There will be plenty of time for questions.