The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released the 2009 Technology Transfer Report, an annual report summarizing the technology transfer activities and achievements of the U.S. Department of Commerce's scientific research agencies, including NIST, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Institute for Telecommunication Sciences. In addition to performance metrics, the report features anecdotes that demonstrate how investment in research and development improves the lives of American citizens and spurs the development of new products.
An electronic version of the report, "Annual Report on Technology Transfer: Approach and Plans, Fiscal Year 2009 Activities and Achievements," is available online.
Technology transfer is an essential mission of federal laboratories that leverages the creative intellectual capital of government scientists and the nation's investments in science and technology to strengthen the American economy and the nation's ability to compete in world markets.
"Department of Commerce labs contribute to the economy through their research, research that results in the invention of new technologies or the improvement of existing technologies," says Paul Zielinski, director of NIST's Technology Partnerships Office. "Transferring that technology from the public to the private sector translates taxpayer dollars into economic growth and the creation of new jobs."
As one example of technology transfer, the report describes how NIST researchers, together with the Fire Protection Research Foundation, the Fire Department of New York City (FDNY) and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, have studied the effects of wind on fires in high-rise buildings. Based on NIST's recommendations, the FDNY amended its standard operating procedures for apartment dwellings and produced new training materials to teach its 11,000 members how to employ these new technologies. This effort has caught the attention of firefighters worldwide.
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