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Federal organizations and the commercialization of technology

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1 Author(s)
Sherif, M.H. ; AT&T Bell Labs., Holmdel, NJ, USA

The United States Government advanced several initiatives to stimulate the commercialization of technologies. The Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 provided the legal basis for the private sector's access to government facilities and technical resources. In 1987, the Malcom Baldridge National Quality Award was established to "stimulate American companies to improve quality and productivity for the pride of recognition while obtaining competitive edges through increased profits." Then, in 1988, the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act entrusted the US Department of Commerce with the promotion of innovation. The cumulative effect of all these steps has been to involve the Federal scientific institutions, including the standards-setting organizations, in industrial and commercial activities. Particularly affected were two institutes under the US Department of Commerce, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). NTIA, which was formed in 1977, includes the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), located in Boulder, Colorado

Published in:

Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 1 )