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Tech transfer troubles

Review finds US govt research institutions generating revenues but reporting is sluggish.

Ted Agres(tedagres@lycos.com)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and seven other federal agencies that sponsor scientific research did not comply with federal regulations when they failed to submit reports on their technology transfer activities to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), according to the government's General Accounting Office (GAO).

The reports, required by the Technology Transfer Commercialization Act of 2000, were to have been included in the agencies' budget requests for fiscal year 2003, which were submitted to Congress in February 2002. Required information included technology transfer activities, plans, and statistics on patents and licensing.

But the agencies were late—some by more than half a year, found the GAO, Congress' investigative arm. In a recent report of its own titled, "Intellectual Property: Federal Agency Efforts in Transferring and Reporting New Technology," the GAO examined nine federal agencies that had internal research budgets of at least $500 million in fiscal 2001....

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