Institutionalized Technology Transfer in USA: A Historic Review
50 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2004
Date Written: August 27, 2004
America has a long and rich history of transferring technology (TT), from government laboratories and agencies to the private sector as a matter of national policy. This policy dates back to the Morrill Act of 1862 creating the Land Grant Universities and in turn the Agricultural Extension Division. Over the years, other Departments, and or Agencies of the US government have followed Agriculture's (USDA) lead and have actively pursued policy-based TT to the private sector. In 1988, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) formerly the Bureau of Standards, founded its Advanced Technology Program (ATP), and in turn in 1999, the ATP launched its Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP). Though structured somewhat differently (involving some co-pay and State contributions) the MEP is to manufacturing what the Agricultural Extension Program (requiring no payment from recipients) has been to America's agriculture (and related industry) over the years. There is also a great deal of policy-based technology transfer to other countries' governments, as well as their private sectors. The most documented of these programs was the rebuilding of Western Europe in the aftermath of World War II via the Marshall Plan and its follow-on to developing countries via USAID. This paper will review this rich history, its socio-economic impacts, and indicate future trends.
Keywords: Technology Transfer, History of Technology Transfer, Agricultural Extension, Morrill Act, Hatch Act, Bayh-Dole Act, Advanced Manufacturing Program, MEP, Federal Laboratory Consortium, Land Grant Universities, Incubators, Policy, Develoment
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