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The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) is the nationwide network of federal laboratories that provides the forum to develop strategies and opportunities for linking laboratory mission technologies and expertise with the marketplace.
The FLC was organized in 1974 and formally chartered by the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 to promote and strengthen technology transfer nationwide. Today, FLC's membership is comprised of officials from federal agencies and approximately 350 federal labs. FLC began largely as a forum for the education, training, and networking of federal technology transfer officials to promote the integration of technical knowledge developed by federal departments and agencies into the U.S. economy. Over time, FLC's role has included serving as a clearinghouse — a central point for collecting and disseminating information — for federal technologies and assisting outside entities in identifying technology transfer opportunities at federal labs. Its budget, which is provided out of its members' R&D budgets, was more than $2.9 million in fiscal year 2013.
The Consortium creates an environment that adds value to and supports the technology transfer efforts of its members and potential partners. The FLC develops and tests transfer methods, addresses barriers to the process, provides training, highlights grass-roots transfer efforts, and emphasizes national initiatives where technology transfer has a role. For the public and private sectors, the FLC brings laboratories together with potential users of government-developed technologies. This is in part accomplished by the FLC's Technology Locator network and regional and national meetings. Access to the resources of the full federal laboratory system can be made through any laboratory representative, the FLC regional coordinators, the Washington area representative, or by contacting the Chairman or Executive Director.
The FLC itself does not transfer technology; it assists and improves the technology transfer efforts of the laboratories where the work is performed. In addition to developing methods to augment individual laboratory transfer efforts, the Consortium serves as a clearinghouse for requests for assistance and will refer to the appropriate laboratory or federal department.
The work of the Consortium is funded by a set-aside of 0.008% of the portion of each agency’s R&D budget used for the laboratories.