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GAO: Communication, Performance Goals Key to Improve Fed Labs’ Tech Transfer Clearinghouse

GAOThe Government Accountability Office has urged the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer to gather feedback from potential private-sector customers on the consortium’s technology transfer clearinghouse initiatives and establish performance metrics for those initiatives.

GAO said in a report published earlier this month that FLC should increase both collaboration and communication with federal agency and lab members as well as potential clients to address their needs and provide relevant technology transfer information through the clearinghouse.

The agency interviewed officials from other research-heavy agencies and representatives of eight customers groups to determine the extent of communications based on federal practices and standards and the goals on which to measure success.

Respondents pointed to concerns about limited information on the market relevance of technologies and range of transfer opportunities and limited ability to foster personal interaction between researchers and customers and comparison of technologies across the federal labs, GAO said.

The GAO report also highlighted the importance of determining whether the clearinghouse initiatives have achieved the desired effect or need further improvement, as well as the need to demonstrate concrete results in FLC’s annual report to Congress.

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