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Vannevar Bush, author of “Science, the Endless Frontier”
Adding to the laws of nature for practical purposes

Director’s Corner

by Brian Anderson, PhD.

Vannevar Bush, FDR’s wartime science advisor had a vision for how to use the nation’s vast research resources after hostilities of World War II ceased. Bush envisioned a system where the results of government research, like the energy work done by the men and women of NETL, would be effectively transferred to private sector entrepreneurs for adaptation to the American commercial market creating jobs and a strong economy.

Bush had a clear proclamation about the process that we now know as technology transfer: “New products, new industries, and more jobs require continuous additions to knowledge of the laws of nature, and the application of that knowledge to practical purposes.”

Throughout January, we will be bringing you a series of stories about the process of technology transfer at NETL, how we pursue commercialization of our research results, and about some of the key technologies that have been successfully moved from the laboratory to the marketplace through those efforts.

  • We will inform readers about NETL’s work within the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lab Partnering Service that helps potential investors and partners navigate economic opportunities through a single online access point for all national laboratories.
  • We will offer insights into the patent and licensing processes that NETL developed and provides that helps turn research into products.
  • We will describe NETL’s participation in DOE’s Technology Commercialization Fund that helps mature promising energy technologies that have potential for high impact in the marketplace.
  • Finally, we will look at specific technology transfer success stories like the NETL-developed technology for removing rare earth elements and heavy metals like lead from industrial and municipal water supplies.

The work of our technology transfer team is critical to ensuring that emerging innovations move from the laboratory to the marketplace for maximum impact. We are strong believers that partnerships with businesses, entrepreneurs, and universities can bridge the gap between research and commercialization, and we have the successes to show it.

We look forward to continuing that important work and keeping the public informed of continuing success.