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Government Agencies and Programs Promoting Public-Private Technology Transfer

Various federal, state and local government entities support technology transfer from academic and non-profit research institutions into private businesses. They may do so through technical assistance to establish and enhance small businesses, technology transfer through partnerships between businesses and academic and non-profit research institution, or helping small businesses apply for funding and technical assistance.

Entities Providing Technical Assistance to Establish and Enhance Small Businesses

  • Small Business Development Centers provide management assistance to current and prospective small business owners. The program is a cooperative between the private sector, the educational community and federal, state and local governments. It is an integral component of Entrepreneurial Development's network of training and counseling services.

  • Small Business Administration Offices have business development specialists who provide business counseling and training at low-cost or free in various areas.

  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership is a nationwide network of resources intended to help manufacturers compete globally, support greater supply chain integration, and provide access to technology for improved productivity.

Entities Promoting Technology Transfer Through Partnerships Between Businesses and Academic and Non-Profit Research Institutions

  • University Technology Transfer Offices promote, support and improve technology transfer from academic and non profit institutions. They often manage and license innovations derived from research at their universities and may be a good source to link small businesses with university faculty.

  • The Cooperative Extension System Offices are a nationwide, non-credit educational network. These offices are staffed by one or more experts who provide useful, practical, and research-based information to agricultural producers, small business owners, youth, consumers, and others in rural areas and communities of all sizes.

  • EPSCoR assists the National Science Foundation in its statutory function "to strengthen research and education in science and engineering throughout the United States and to avoid undue concentration of such research and education." It helps to activate effective jurisdictional and regional collaborations among academic, government and private sector stakeholders that advance scientific research, promote innovation and provide multiple societal benefits. Several federal agencies have similar goals and/or programs.

  •  USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Office of Technology Transfer helps transfer  ARS-developed technology to the marketplace. ARS continually looks for opportunities to partner with businesses, other federal agencies, state and local governments, and universities. These partnerships are designed to augment research programs, expedite research results to the private sector, exchange information and knowledge, stimulate new business and economic development, enhance U.S. trade, preserve the environment, and improve the quality of life for all Americans.

  • The USDA Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory can help advance small business research by tapping into the expertise of USDA Forest Service research personnel. They promote technology transfer by providing access to their extensive laboratory facilities and equipment, and creating opportunities for patent and licensing agreements.

  • The USDA National Agricultural Library’s Technology Transfer Information Center helps innovators find research and patent information; technical assistance; and funding, partnerships, and market information to commercialize new products, processes and services. The center also provides access to the technology transfer literature.

  • The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) provides the forum to develop strategies and opportunities for linking technologies produced at Federal government laboratories with the marketplace.

Entities Helping Small Businesses Apply for Funding and Technical Assistance

  • The SCORE Association “Counselors to America’s Small Business” is an association of volunteer business counselors trained to serve as advisors and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners, and offer free services to local communities.
  • The USDA’s Rural Development agency is committed to help improve the economy and quality of life in all of rural America. Rural Development achieves its mission by helping rural individuals, communities and businesses obtain the financial and technical assistance needed to address their diverse and unique needs.
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