Bill TAPs Labs For Industry
A New York congressman has introduced a bill that is meant to do for industry what the Department of Agriculture's extension service has long done for farming. The bill (H.R. 4659), entitled the Technology Access Program, would provide easy access to federally funded research for businesses nationwide, says Rep. John LaFalce (D-N.Y.). Modeled on both the federal extension service and a state-level technology access service in Minnesota, TAP would authorize the National Institute of Standards and Technology to create a database of experts (including those in federal labs) that a business could access directly via personal computer. A House Small Business Committee survey of 25 current and former customers of the Minnesota service found users spent an average of $17,000 a year, but increased their profits by $290,000 annually. Touted as a means to involve federal labs in technology transfer without changing their structure, the...

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