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July 11, 2021 | Tom Ballard

FASTER Act being pushed as way to enhance engagement and tech transfer at federal labs

Two well-respected individuals on the national stage have authored a paper about something they are pushing called the “Federal Authority for Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Research (FASTER) Federal Labs Act.”

Brian Darmody, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Association of University Research Parks (AURP), and Rick Bendis, Founder, President, and CEO of BioHealth Innovation Inc., write in the document (FASTER Act) that the act would make it possible for all federal labs to use the tried-and-true tools that universities use for economic engagement and technology commercialization. Specifically, the FASTER Federal Labs Act would:

  • Allow surplus federal land to be used for public-private partnership facilities;
  • Create clearer pathways for federal researchers to work with start-up companies, and
  • Authorize a federally charted tech transfer organization based on models established at leading research universities.

They say the FASTER Federal Labs Act will not require significant outlay of federal appropriations as many of its provisions simply give federal labs greater discretion over deployment of existing resources. The Act can be implemented relatively easily as an add-on to legislation expected to be considered by the current Congress.

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