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Congress should fund a pilot program supporting experimental approaches to technology transfer and commercialization.

A number of organizations throughout the United States are experimenting with novel approaches to bolster technology transfer from universities (and national laboratories) to industry and to accelerate the commercialization of university-developed technologies. The 2013 Reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act should support these types of novel approaches by including $5 million to fund experimental programs exploring new approaches to university and federal laboratory technology transfer programs. The program should be managed by the Department of Commerce’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Organizations would apply for the grants and winning proposals would be selected on criteria such as: 1) how innovative they are in demonstrating a new model; 2) recent documented success of their program; and 3) willingness to publicly disclose best practices learned from their programs.