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U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) introduced legislation Thursday to improve the Department of Energy’s (DOE) technology transfer process and help innovators turn research into marketable products and businesses.
Udall’s Accelerating Technology Transfer to Advance Innovation for the Nation (ATTAIN) Act would help New Mexico entrepreneurs create jobs and revolutionary products, according to a release from Udall’s office.
The changes it proposes are critical to helping leverage research at the state’s two DOE labs including Los Alamos and Sandia and develop high-tech private sector businesses.
“The finest scientists in the world are doing cutting-edge research here in New Mexico’s national labs. If we can harness that amazing research by connecting innovators and entrepreneurs, New Mexico could lead the nation in high-tech business and innovation,” Udall said. “That’s what the ATTAIN Act is all about — improving the DOE’s technology transfer process so we can get innovation from the lab bench to the marketplace and create well-paying, high-tech jobs here in New Mexico.”
Overall, the bill would improve the Department of Energy’s technology transfer capabilities in three key areas:
• It permanently authorizes new tools for the Secretary of Energy’s new department-wide technology transfer office to enable DOE to implement tech transfer responsibilities, measure, and report their progress.
• It authorizes the DOE to create a new Tech Transfer Corps (T2-Corps), modeled after the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps, to support investments in tech maturation, entrepreneurs, mentors, scientists and engineers.
• And it adapts an existing public-private partnership model used by the Small Business Administration for economic development and applies it to technology transfer. This would increase investment in innovative technologies and enable start-ups to access venture capital.
Said Kathy Keith, executive director of New Mexico Regional Development Corporation in Española: “Technology transfer is an important resource for new business start-ups which are critical to growing an economy both in New Mexico and nationally. Senator Udall’s bill will make important strides in streamlining the Department of Energy’s technology transfer process.”