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The Only Government-wide Forum for Technology Transfer. Leveraging Federal Technology Assets as Your Own Presented at: American Filtration & Separations Society Annual Meeting Valley Forge, PA May 21, 2008.

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The Only Government-wide Forum for Technology Transfer

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The Only Government-wide Forum for Technology Transfer

Leveraging Federal Technology Assets as Your Own

Presented at:

American Filtration & Separations Society Annual Meeting

Valley Forge, PA May 21, 2008

The opinions expressed are the author’s and do not represent the position or policy of the US Government.Disclaimer
  • The Federal Lab Consortium Gateway
  • The Federal Labs
  • Generically, your opportunities at the labs
  • Example lab separations interests
  • How to leverage the labs
  • Abyss of misunderstanding
entry points to the federal labs
Entry Points to the Federal Labs

federal laboratory consortium
Federal Laboratory Consortium
  • Nationwide network of over 700 Federal laboratories and R&D centers organized in 1974 and formally chartered by Congress in 1986 to promote and strengthen technology transfer throughout the U.S.
  • A forum that links technology with laboratory missions and the marketplace
  • 18 Departments and Agencies, conducting $100 billion in R&D annually and employing over 100,000 scientists and engineers.
what is the federal laboratory consortium
What is theFederal Laboratory Consortium?


  • Agriculture
  • Commerce
  • Defense
    • Army
    • Air Force
    • Navy
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Health and Human Services
  • Interior
  • Justice
  • Labor
  • Transportation
  • Veterans Affairs


  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • National Science Foundation
  • Smithsonian Institute
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
  • NIST has 2000 employees – and 1,500 guest scientists/engineers
  • NIH has about 18,000 employees and maintains about 3000 post docs/yr
  • FDA has about 10,000 employees
federal labs are centric to many industries
Federal Labs are Centric to Many Industries
  • NASA & NAWC drive space & aerospace
  • NIH, Navy Medical, Army Medical, FDA & USDA stimulate medical & biotechnology
  • NIST at forefront of nanotechnology
  • NRL, NAWC & NSWC lead naval technologies
  • NSA, CIA, FBI, NGA are drivers of IT, sensors & communications
  • DOD labs are key to defense
  • DHS is stimulating a growing security industry
the cost of separations rate limits progress
The Cost of Separations Rate-Limits Progress
  • 90% of biotech processing
  • 70% of high volume chemical operations
  • Salt from sea water and brine
  • Recycled values from mixed waste
  • H2 from H2O
  • CO2 from the atmosphere
  • Rock from rock for mining & tunnels
  • Astronauts from the planet
federal agency interests in separations
Federal Agency Interests in Separations
  • All 700 labs use separations for R&D
  • EPA: Water/air impurity separations for analysis & cleanup
  • DOC/NIST: Nano separations
  • NIH: Blood filtration; poisons from body; drugs from time-release capsules; drugs from natural products; proteins; cells
more agency interests
More Agency Interests
  • NOAA: Rain from clouds
  • Interior: Mineral from rock; processing chemicals from product and waste; mine field drainage wastes
  • FDA: Contaminants from food, water & drugs
  • DHS/FEMA: Filters for Chem/Bio/Radioactive agents; decontamination; first responder masks; water purification in disaster areas
more agency interests19
More Agency Interests
  • FAA: Air circulation filters for cabins
  • USDA/ARS: Food from fiber; dirt from food; plant pathogens from greenhouse air; biofuels and bio-products
  • Forestry Service: brush from forest
doe strongly needs advances in separations
DOE Strongly Needs Advances in Separations
  • CO2, NOx, Hg from hydrocarbon combustion
  • Oil from rock, water, S, drilling fluids
  • Oil fractionation
  • Coal from rock, water, S
  • Tar from tar sands
  • Ethanol from biomass
  • Uranium from ore; Isotopes from each other
  • Silicon from SiO2 for solar
  • Ions from each other in batteries/fuel cells
  • Salts from geothermal steam
  • Fish from hydro turbines
example dod separations purposes
Example DOD Separations Purposes
  • Marine vessel onboard wastewater treatment system
  • Dirt from wounds; contamination from ground & aquifers;
  • Chemical operations
  • Army Engineer R&D Center: Salt from water
  • Selective chem-bio detectors
  • Functional clothing
  • Batteries
  • All of the applications sought by other labs
dod licensing opportunities
DOD Licensing Opportunities


Key WordsHits

Filtration 345

Filter 1,498

Membrane 480

Separation 1,296

Separator 143

regulatory safety agencies use separations for quantitative analyses
Regulatory & Safety Agencies Use Separations for Quantitative Analyses
  • FBI
  • EPA
  • FDA
  • OSHA
  • DHS
  • Consumer Products Safety Commission
  • CDC
  • USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service
  • USDA Food Safety & Inspection Service
  • Supports fundamental research on novel methods & materials for separation processes
  • Recognizes processes are central to chemical, biological, materials, energy & pharmaceutical industries
  • Looks for proposals addressing energy sources
research topics in nsf cbs include fundamental molecular level work on
Research topics in NSF-CBS include fundamental molecular-level work on:
  • Biochemical separations and purification processes
  • Microporous and novel molecular-recognition adsorbents
  • Self-assembly in the synthesis of adsorbents and membranes
  • Nanostructured materials for separations
  • Fuel-cell membranes
  • Biomimetic materials for separations
  • Chiral separations
  • Separations for environmentally benign processing
  • Novel polymeric and ceramic membranes
  • Hybrid separation processes
  • Control and separation of organic crystalline materials
  • Separations using ionic liquids
  • Purification of drinking water
  • Membranes for ion-selective sensors
  • Adsorption and chromatography
  • Field (flow, magnetic, electrical) induced separations.
  • Separation of molecular constituents from blood
  • Thermodynamics and transport simulations for the design of separation processes
  • Combinatorial design of separation systems
  • Rational ligand design for separations
army corps of engineers air pollution control laboratory
Army Corps of EngineersAir Pollution Control Laboratory
  • High Temperature Particulate Filter Development:
  • The U.S. Army operates furnaces to demilitarize spent and expired munitions.
  • These furnaces are subject the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
  • Fine mesh steel screen filters operating at 1200 F and perlite-based solid sorbent materials are used to capture metal vapors and residual organics.
  • Surface treated perlite and surface treated absorbent carbons are studied for mercury reduction.
army corps of engineers environmental processes laboratory
Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Processes Laboratory
  • Development of environmental technologies to treat Army industrial wastewater from explosives manufacturing and munitions packaging
  • Developing-cost effective methods to treat Army wastewater contaminated with explosives (like TNT, RDX, Perchlorate, other Insensitive Munitions) and toxic metals (like arsenic, lead and chromium)
  • Currently we are also looking at removal of oxidizers used in missiles. One of the projects evaluates biosorbents (material made out of shrimp shells, CERL patented) for treatment of perchlorate in groundwater and wastewater from bomb/missile packaging facilities.
  • Also membrane based separation systems at bench and pilot scale for reduced sensitive munitions program.
available technology magnetic bead based solid phase for selective extraction of dna
Available Technology: Magnetic Bead-Based Solid Phase for Selective Extraction of DNA
  • Functionalized micro-bead enables capture of generic targets
  • Office of Naval Research
  • Contact Dottie Vincent: 703-696-4792
Licensing Opportunity: Miniature Microbial Fuel Cells with Nanoporous Membrane: Harvests Energy in Aerobic Environments

Office of Naval Research

Contact Dottie Vincent: 703-696-4792

available patent handheld and hand powered centrifuge device
Available Patent:Handheld and Hand-powered Centrifuge Device
  • Patent Number: 6905454
  • Army Medical Research and Materiel Command
  • Fort Detrick, MD
  • Abstract:

This invention relates to a handheld, hand-powered centrifuge device. The device preferably includes a centrifuge body and a sample-holding member connected to a tether. The device centrifuges the sample by a user physically spinning the member preferably in a vertical arc. The device preferably includes a pull handle which allows a user to shorten the length of the tether to reduce the circumference of the arc, thereby increasing the speed of rotation and centrifugal force on the sample. The device also preferable includes a brake to prevent the member from contacting the handheld centrifuge body. The centrifuge body may have a storage cavity for storing the pull handle when not in use, wherein the member serves to seal the storage cavity when not in use.

solid liquid separation at nist polymer lab
Solid/liquid Separation at NIST Polymer Lab

Sorting and manipulating nanotubes by length and type using size exclusion chromatography

ceramic membranes at the national energy technology lab
Ceramic Membranes at the National Energy Technology Lab
  • The water-gas-shift (WGS) reaction, CO + H2O ↔ H2 + CO2, is used to increase the hydrogen content of synthesis gas.
  • One approach for overcoming this limitation is to carry out the reaction in a reactor with walls that are CO2 permeable.
  • This continuously removal of CO2 from the system should allow the reaction to continue.
oak ridge national laboratory emphasis areas
Oak Ridge National LaboratoryEmphasis Areas
  • Crown ethers, macrocycles, and designer ligands for recognition and transport of cations and anions
  • Novel materials and processes for waste remediation, environmental restoration, and decontamination
  • Metal-organic frameworks
  • Metallo-organic compounds for sensors, catalysis, and other applications
oak ridge national laboratory accomplishment
Oak Ridge National LaboratoryAccomplishment
  • Separation of Radioactive 137Cesium
  • Development of a new solvent extraction process for separating radioactive 137cesium from the nation's troublesome high-level wastes.
desalination at lawrence livermore national laboratory
Desalination at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • The LLNL has created a membrane made of carbon nanotubes and silicon that may offer less expensive desalination.
  • The nanotubes, special molecules made of carbon atoms in a unique arrangement, act as the pores in the membrane.
  • The pores are so small that only six water molecules could fit across their diameter.
  • The super smooth inside of the nanotubes allow liquids and gases to rapidly flow through, while the tiny pore size can block larger molecules.
nanoporous catalytic membranes at argonne national lab
Nanoporous Catalytic Membranesat Argonne National Lab
  • Conversion of the feedstocks into chemicals, diesel fuel or gasoline using catalytic membranes would be a great step towards energy independence.
  • Argonne aims to fabricate novel nanostructured catalytic membranes that enable the cheap and efficient synthesis of hydrocarbons for gasoline and diesel fuel.
  • Ultra-uniform nanoporous catalytic membranes are based on anodic aluminum oxide (AAO).
  • By using atomic layer deposition (ALD) thin film growth techniques AAO pore size is optimized for reactant/catalyst contact time as well as to provide filtration capability.
usda agricultural research service www ars usda gov
USDA Agricultural Research

Membrane Separation of Ethanol

  • This technology addresses the energy efficiency of bioethanol production.
  • The invention is called a spiral-wound liquid membrane module
  • It could potentially replace the widely used process of distilling ethanol.
some epa available patents
Some EPA Available Patents
  • Separation process using pervaporation and dephlegmation
  • Adsorbent-filled membranes for pervaporation
  • Recovery of volatile organic compounds from emulsion of volatile organic compounds in water by pervaporation
  • Vacuum distillation automatic sampler
  • Lightweight low permeation piston-in-sleeve accumulator
  • Biomass concentrator reactor
  • System and method for vacuum flushing sewer solids
  • On-line gas chromatograph with sample preparation, concentration, and calibration apparatus for measuring trace organic species from combustor flue gas
  • Enhancement of electrostatic precipitation with pre-charged particles and electrostatic field augmented fabric filtration
  • Minimizing emission of hexavalent chromium from combustion sources
  • Vacuum extractor incorporating a condenser column
  • Processes for removing acid components from gas streams
  • Enhancement of electrostatic precipitation with electrostatically augmented fabric filtration
department of the interior bureau of reclamation
Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation

Desalination and Water Purification Research & Development Program

  • Reclamation has formed partnerships with private industry, universities, local communities, and others to address a broad range of desalting and water purification needs.
  • The overall program objective is to reduce the cost of desalting and water purification technologies in order to augment U.S. water supplies.
  • Research focuses on desalination technologies and related issues that push the state of the art forward so costs can be reduced.
gas separation at nasa national space science and technology center
Gas Separation atNASA National Space Science and Technology Center
  • The continuing rising costs of helium justifies the construction of an economic system that will separate helium gas from gas streams that would normally be considered waste gas.
  • Since almost all of NASA's launch and other propellant related test operations use helium and hydrogen, this system would be capable of recovering these valuable gases to the point that they could be separated and recycled.
organically modified silicates polymer membranes at glenn research center
Organically Modified Silicates Polymer Membranes at Glenn Research Center
  • NASA Glenn Research Center has developed a series of membranes with acceptable ionic conductivity as well as thermal and dimensional stability.
  • Applications include proton-conduction for fuel cells, gas separation membranes, and solid electrolytes for lithium batteries.
hollow fiber freeze thaw filter
Hollow Fiber Freeze Thaw Filter

SBIR Opportunity Solicitation

  • Open Date: 4/21/2008
  • Close Date: 6/18/2008
  • Marine Corp Infantry Combat Equipment
  • Research and test a practical method for preventing damage to hollow fiber water filtration media subjected to freezing and thawing. A practical method must NOT make the resultant system so heavy and bulky as to negate the weight and size advantage of hollow fiber filtration media.
  • Email:
there are many ways for companies to leverage federal labs
There are Many Ways for Companies to Leverage Federal Labs
  • License Federal technology
  • Collaborate on R&D projects
  • Access Federal equipment
  • Obtain technical information & advice
  • Employee exchange
  • Hire post-docs when they leave the labs
  • Participate in meetings, seminars & conferences
  • Publications
flc mar annual meeting
FLC MAR Annual Meeting
  • Tech transfer, licensing, commercialization
  • September 15-17, 2008
  • Rocky Gap Resort,

Cumberland, MD

flc locator service
FLC Locator Service
  • Use this service to solve problems; find expertise, facilities and technologies
  • Access all 700 Federal labs at once
  • Send email to FLC with succinct statement of interest and your contact information
  • Get results in hours-to-weeks
  • Get directions at
  • Call: 856-667-7727
  • E-mail:
more starting places
More Starting Places
  • Lab web sites
  • (
  • --> tech-net
  • Google alerts and RSS Feeds
  • Showcases
  • Green Book:
interaction mechanisms
Interaction Mechanisms
  • Licensing
  • Cooperative Research and Development Agreements
  • Facility use
  • Technical Assistance
  • Work for Others
  • Personnel exchanges
  • Industrial Fellows
other collaborative mechanisms
Other Collaborative Mechanisms
  • User Facility Agreements
  • MOUs & PIAs
  • Material Transfer Agreements

- NIH does hundreds; NIST zero

  • Educational Partnership Agreements
  • Agency funded grants & contracts
  • Consortia
boiler plate agreements
Boiler Plate Agreements
  • Significant variations among agencies & labs
  • Lab and agency-specific models at respective web sites
  • Examples at
  • Hard copy example references in free “Federal Technology Transfer Mechanisms Matrix” found in the store at
companies are attracted to labs and military installations
Companies are Attracted to Labs and Military Installations

--- Many Companies Locate Close By ---

  • Proximity helps companies learn requirements
  • Face-to-face meetings facilitate decision-making
  • Close interaction synergizes project performance
  • Cooperative projects promote facility & expertise leveraging
federal physical assets are available
Federal Physical Assets Are Available
  • DOD laboratory database:

  • Army ammunition plants:
  • Army arsenals (Rock Island, Picatinny, Watervliet, etc)
  • Google at NASA Moffett Field (1 M ft2 for partnering)
proximity not always required
Proximity Not Always Required
  • Funded research
  • Periodic meetings
  • Communication technology
  • “Collaboratory” participation
what is a crada
What is a CRADA?
  • A type of R&D contract between Federal labs and non-federal parties
  • Allows for transfer of IP, expertise, facility-use and other assets to the private sector
  • Allows for transfer of IP, expertise, facility-use, other assets and money to the public sector
  • Allows great flexibility and discretion without many of the legal conditions placed on grants, procurement contracts & other kinds of cooperative agreements
crada advantages
CRADA Advantages
  • Address business-related challenges
  • Access expertise, data, services and facilities
  • FOIA protection, although project title, company name & objectives are publicly available
  • Avoid usual competitive requirements
crada success story
CRADA Success Story
  • EPA and MAR Systems developed jointly
  • Extracts arsenic, mercury, selenium, uranium from water
  • Uses recycled catalyst from chemical industry
  • Sulfur in spent catalyst is necessary for this second application
  • Technology showing promise for air scrubbing as well
  • MAR Systems commercializing
  • All Labs are authorized to license their IP
  • Inventions but not otherwise copyrightable materials are protected in the US
  • Licenses transfer certain rights
  • Business terms negotiable
  • Usually non-exclusive or partially exclusive
  • Need to share business plan
considerations in all licenses
Considerations in All Licenses
  • Preference for US companies
  • Preference for small businesses
  • Substantial US manufacture if product sold in US
  • Government retains rights
  • Government march-in rights
  • May retain rights for use in research and education
tips to facilitate collaboration
Tips to Facilitate Collaboration
  • Learn the lab’s mission
  • Tech transfer vs. tech transition
  • The labs are not like grocery stores
  • Authorizations and procedures vary
  • Technology transfer usually requires scientists
  • Do a little homework. Its not hard.
  • FLC members are your best pals
  • 90% of companies who partner want to do it again
using university expertise for commercial assessments
Using University Expertise For Commercial Assessments
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County “Lab to Market”
  • Penn State University
  • Naval Academy
  • Activate
  • Intermediaries: TEDCO, TechLink, FirstLink
w p carey program in entrepreneurship and management
W. P. Carey Program in Entrepreneurship and Management
  • Fall semester conducting commercial assessments
    • Students taught/directed to cover all aspects of the assessment
    • High quality report provided
    • Allows for inventor to alter research
  • Spring semester developing a business plan and marketing strategy
    • Students taught/directed to cover all aspects of a business plan
    • Markets, companies identified for marketing the invention
    • High quality report provided
  • Formal presentations on their research at end of the courses
    • Audience consists of major business and technology managers
    • Tech Transfer Directors and scientists invited
w p carey program in entrepreneurship and management68
W. P. Carey Program in Entrepreneurship and Management
  • Program administered by Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  • Novel mechanism for obtaining FREE high quality commercial assessments and potential market for insertion of technology
    • Management buy-in after providing scenario on program
  • “Protected” IP provided to the professor of the Program
    • Patent applications filed with U.S. PTO
  • Provides real-life IP for the curricula as opposed to fictitious IP
  • Students work in groups of 5 on a technology they select
  • Groups are highly motivated, intelligent, and cross several majors
  • Groups interacted directly with inventor(s)
unexpected results
Unexpected Results

Students working shipping container:

A new defense against a

Major bioterror threat while reducing

DOD packaging and shipping costs

  • Graduated from JHU
  • Incorporated into Baltimore Shipping Corp.
  • Licensed the technology they worked on for 2 semesters
  • Entered into a CRADA with IHDIV
  • Obtained TEDCO funding for the CRADA
  • Developed commercial prototypes
  • Ready for sales in just over one year
leveraging federal technology assets as your own
Connect for More Info!

Dr. John L Eichelberger

Support Contractor

Pendulum Management LLC

Federal Laboratory Consortium


Leveraging Federal Technology Assets as Your Own