Wendy H. Schacht, Technology Transfer: Use of Federally Funded Research and Development (CRS Report RL33527) (Nov. 5, 2009) (full-text).
The federal government spends approximately one third of its annual research and development budget for intramural R&D to meet mission requirements in over 700 government laboratories. The technology and expertise generated by this endeavor may have application beyond the immediate goals or intent of federally funded R&D. These applications can result from technology transfer, a process by which technology developed in one organization, in one area, or for one purpose is applied in another organization, in another area, or for another purpose. It is a way for the results of the federal R&D enterprise to be used to meet other national needs, including the economic growth that flows from new commercialization in the private sector; the government's requirements for products and processes to operate effectively and efficiently; and the demand for increased goods and services at the state and local level.
At issue is whether incentives for technology transfer remain necessary, if additional legislative initiatives are needed to encourage increased technology transfer, or if the responsibility to use the available resources now rests with the private sector.