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gress, so that made it-and we found all that information was not really usable because of the form it was in.
Mr. Ols. But I think-we don't have any record of reports not being submitted, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WALGREN. Perhaps you can think about and give us a submission on the usableness of this information that we might ask in the form of a questionnaire. Admittedly, falling back on a questionnaire shows that we are limited in our own ability to drive this.
One of the things that I think would strike us all is that—that this is a hard area to succeed in. If it were easy to succeed in it, there'd be an awful lot of success out there and in many ways, it's like a small business or starting up a small business. If it were an easy thing to do, a lot of other people would be much more successful than-than we are.
But it's a hard thing to do and somehow or other, the-the measure that we make has to take into account how difficult it is and give some recognition to efforts and the quality efforts regardless of how many dollars may pass through the cash register or the like and I would hope that you would look at this information that's in OMB and, with the thought of what-you know, what are we asking on these questionnaires and if you could make as creative a suggestion as you can about the content of that questionnaire so that we can them focused and receive back a good measure of the kind of effort that is being made, recognizing that it is a difficult area to succeed in.
Mr. Ols. Okay, yes, Mr. Chairman, we'll be glad to.
the gentleman from Colorado, Mr. Skaggs.
Mr. SKAGGS. Good morning, Mr. Chairman.
I apologize for not being here for your prepared statement, or at least not very much of it, so if I cover some of the things you've already covered, forgive me.
I'm curious as to the process that you used in selecting the agencies and laboratories that were talked to for this study.
Mr. ARIMA. We picked large labs in the Washington area that were of particular interest to the staff and we're also asked to go
Mr. SKAGGS. Our staff or your staff?
Mr. ARIMA. And we also picked the region outside of the Washington area just to get some labs that were further away from headquarters.
Mr. SKAGGS. I'm particularly interested in that the Solar Energy Research Institute, which is nearby my part of Colorado and is probably one of the facilities that we hope will be doing the most to move things from laboratory to production purposes, was not included and I am wondering if you, nonetheless, have any information pertaining to how SERI is doing in this area?
Mr. ARIMA. No, we limited ourselves to government-operated laboratories; SERI is contractor-operated.
Mr. SKAGGS. And what was the rationale for that limitation?
Mr. ARIMA. Under the provisions, that's limited to governmentoperated laboratories.
Mr. Ols. And being that our primary focus was on how those were working, that's why we concentrated on
Mr. SKAGGS. Okay-
Mr. SKAGGS. I'm encouraged by your testimony that you're finding that the officers principally responsible for technology transfer matters seem enthusiastic and committed and all the rest.
I guess my brief experience in this field is-or suggests that what is going to be necessary for us to do better is for there to be a technology transfer culture instilled pervasively throughout the research organizations. How do you see that progressing?
Mr. MININGER. I think in response to the chairman's question, I see that starting to gain momentum and I think that's through talking-you don't need to have a fixed structure to make that work and I see the talking going that we're having more and more technology transfer ideas. We're thinking; we're looking that way to create a better competitiveness from the country itself.
Positively, I see that moving forward that way.
Mr. SKAGGS. Are there any particular examples or models that you came across that were being particularly successful in getting that culture established throughout an organization?
Mr. MININGER. I think, again, the-some of the agencies and the laboratories that have been in this business for quite a while are certainly good models. NIH is doing a very good job. So is Agriculture.
Mr. SKAGGS. But what is it about their operations that could be transferable—the transfer of technology transfer, if you will?
Mr. MININGER. I think it-I think it relates to the working relationships that they're establishing with industry and that takes some time to prove out successfully. And I think a very important part of changing that culture is certainly convincing industry that there're a lot of good things in the labs to take advantage of.
I think as industry begins to see that both big business and small business people begin to see the opportunities there and see that there are research areas and a lot of good technology that can be transferred and commercialized effectively, I think I think it's going to start taking hold a lot better, but again, the agencies that are doing the better job with that are ones that have had more experience with that in the past.
I think it is a cultural type of change that is necessary and I think, like the Federal Lab Consortium and other groups that are really trying to promote this idea, I think I think they are having some success, but again, it's a slow process that involves both outreach efforts and initiatives by the lab people, the agency-level people, as well as industry people that begin to catch on to see that this really has some possibilities.
Mr. Ols. I probably would add to that, I think the one point you might look at is their ability to reach out and try to tap and get people interested in sharing things. I think that's really the one point that maybe that gets them a step ahead. They go out and talk at meetings and discuss these things a little bit, maybe, more fully than some other agencies might do.
I think that would be one of the big reasons, plus the momentum that's going that way.
Mr. SKAGGS. When we had the National Science Foundation-I believe it was-witnesses here some weeks back, the idea was discussed that perhaps we should be explicitly funding research into technology transfer as a way of becoming more sophisticated about the techniques, about developing models, about finding out what the ingredients are, being contemplative in an organized fashion about this problem.
Do you, from your experience, think that would be a good and appropriate use of actual research dollars?
Mr. Ols. I probably would say I really don't have a basis to, you know, to give you an answer. I think that's an approach that could be used, but I think I think things are moving to make it work that way, so I'm not so sure we have to make it quite that drastic a step of funding just strictly research. I mean, at least that would be my opinion, and I'm only speaking from my own views.
Mr. SKAGGS. I guess I don't see it as drastic, but really, you know, a logical additional tactic to use that we're sort of going out there in a charge-ahead, let's-take-the-hill kind of approach, rather than perhaps also giving some people the resources to examine it in a theoretical way as well.
Ms. WALFORD. If I may add to that,
Ms. WALFORD. If I may add to that, during the process of developing the questionnaire that we're planning to implement to capture some information on the inputs into the tech transfer process, during that process, we had the questionnaire reviewed by a number of people, approximately 70 people, including department officials, agency officials and academics who have some experience in the technology transfer area, and many of the people who commented brought up this issue of how do you go about measuring the outcomes of technology transfer, how can we identify what models are actually working, and I'd say that there was a fairly strong emphasis placed on trying to develop some kind of information so that in the future, we will know what works and what doesn't work.
So, in response to your question, I would say that, at least from those who reviewed our questionnaire, there is some support for that.
Mr. SKAGGs. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Despite the fact that I just got word that I have to leave this hearing, I regret it because, to me, this is one of the most important issues that we, as a nation, need to deal with, and I happen to believe that the more we can increase the speed with which we do not only technology transfer, but we do information transfer, the better off we will be.
I happen to co-chair the Competitiveness Caucus and constantly I am besieged with questions from the private sector saying, “Do we really need to spend money any more on our national laboratories? Are they not perhaps outmoded or outdated?”
Your comment a short while ago was that, you know, different businesses and industries are looking to see how they can take advantage of the resources there. I think it is incumbent upon we, as the government, to get that information out as quickly as possible.
I'm not convinced that we have the appropriate infrastructure for that information and technology transfer, but I do feel the urgency of it. And I hope that you can call on me as an individual or on this Committee so that we can speed this process along, because I feel we're at a point now of crisis management, as opposed to taking preventive measures or just moving along at an important
lif think we are in a very critical stage right now for getting the
information out as quickly as possible.
Mr. Chairman, I have no further questions, but-for this panel, but I would like to ask permission to have my questions submitted for the record for the-panel number three.
Mr. WALGREN. Without objection, we'll cover that. (See Appendix)
Ms. SCHNEIDER. Thank you. Thank you for your good work.
Mr. WALGREN. The—it seems to make sense to take some measure of where we are. We're spending $60 billion in research and development per year, and the total licensing royalties collected by all agencies is running about what per year?
Mr. Ols. I think in total, we had, what, $4.9–.6 million were collected and
Mr. WALGREN. Over a two-year period.
Mr. Ols. Yeah, over that '86 to '88, and I think one of the problems, or one of the difficulties with that is some inventions-it takes roughly two to three years to reach the marketplace before you start getting return on
Mr. WALGREN. But I'm just thinking of the overall. We've been spending something in the range of $60_billion for 25, 30 years, I gather, in the Federal Government's R&D effort, and I just wanted to make the point that compared to the expenditure, there really does not seem to be any significant recognition of the value of that, at least in terms of licensing royalties presently flowing to the Federal system.
Mr. Ols. And I would agree, looking at it that way.
Mr. WALGREN. And of the approximately $2 million a year, over $1.5 million of that appears to be in the National Institutes of Health, so the whole rest of this Federal Government, in which we're spending $60 billion in ways that should lead to some interesting and applicable technology, at least to a certain amount of it, that $60 billion is presently resulting in-in $1.5 million in-no, $500,000, aside from NIH, $500,000 in revenue back to the government.
I guess I say that to make the point, are we essentially starting at ground zero, from your opinion, in terms of the transfer of technology to the private sector?
Mr. Ols. I think that's true. I think the other agencies, as I said, are at zero and are moving forward now and it's going to take a little while. And that's why we—we don't feel we can evaluate the total impact because that's one of the indicators you would use,
until we have a little bit more time under this and have some consistent information.
Mr. WALGREN. Well, we look forward to your helping us gather that consistent information
Mr. Ols. All right, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Let me call the second panel. Dr. Loren Schmid, the Chairman of the Federal Laboratory Consortium; and also on that panel, we've asked Dr. L. H. Princen, the Director of the Northern Regional Re search Center at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to join us; Richard Stern, in his capacity as Technology Transfer and Small Business Manager of the Electronics Technology and Devices Labo ratory, from Ft. Monmouth; also Dr. Grant Brewen, the President of Biotechnology Research and Development Corporation, from Peoria, Illinois; and Dr. Reid Adler, the Director of the Office of Implementation Development at the National Institutes of Health.
Gentlemen, we appreciate your-your being here and talking with us about your experiences in this area. Your written state ments will be made part of the record without more and—let me see exactly how much time we have. I'd like to ask if you can put in the back of your mind as you give your presentation, if you can keep it somewhere in the range of seven or so minutes because we have a very special ceremony, as you all know, at 11:45 this morning in honor of Senator Pepper, who passed away this last week.
And I'd like to be able to get all the testimony in before then so as not to totally inconvenience the later witnesses.
So, with that, let me invite you, Dr. Schmid, to proceed. STATEMENTS OF LOREN SCHMID, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL LABO
RATORY CONSORTIUM FOR TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND PRO-
Mr. Chairman, and Members of the Subcommittee, I appreciate this opportunity to present views on technology transfer
on behalf of the Federal Laboratory Consortium.
Today, as requested, I am reporting on Consortium activities and successes since the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986.
I'll only be able to cover highlights, but additional information is found in my written remarks and in the Consortium Annual Reports to Congress. A review copy of the latest annual report is available as part of my written statement.
The Federal Laboratory Consortium's mission is to promote the rapid movement of research results from the Federal laboratories