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Udall proposes tech transfer bill

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U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., announced a proposal to streamline efforts to translate research from state universities and national labs into jobs and businesses.

He made the announcement at a conference he hosted with Technology Ventures Corp. at Santa Fe Community College Monday on ways to help create economic development by encouraging technology transfer to private entrepreneurs.

Other co-hosts of the event were: Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, the Regional Development Corporation and Santa Fe Community College.

In addition to multiple panel discussions featuring state experts, Udall delivered the keynote address and outlined his proposed bill to support tech transfer.

Tentatively called the Technology Transfer Invention, Innovation and Implementation Act, its objective is to streamline the process for getting research and development from state universities and national labs to the marketplace.

“New Mexico is home to some of the brightest minds in science and some of the most innovative entrepreneurs,” Udall said in a news release. “If we can harness that potential, New Mexico can lead the nation in high-tech innovation.”

John Freisinger, president & CEO of TVC, said Udall’s initiative represents a bold new vision of what is possible in technology transfer.

Udall’s bill, which will be introduced in the fall, tackles the challenges in three parts.

It would:

• Permanently authorize new tools for the Secretary of Energy’s new department-wide technology transfer office to enable DOE to implement tech transfer responsibilities, and measure and report their progress.

• Authorize the DOE to create a new Entrepreneurs in Energy Corps (E2-Corps), modeled after the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps, to support investments in entrepreneurs, mentors, scientists and engineers.

• Adapt an existing public-private partnership model used by the Small Business Administration and USAID for economic development and apply it to technology transfer in a way that realigns incentives to make tech transfer an elevated priority in the DOE’s mission.

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