Tech Transfer eNews Blog

The Endless Frontier Act aims to boost tech transfer across the U.S.

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: May 5th, 2021

The 2021 version of the Endless Frontier Act (EFA) has been reintroduced in Congress and could help boost technology transfer across the U.S.

While the EFA has been mostly described as a research bill, it also has implications for what happens after the research is done. The bill seeks to shrink the “Valley of Death,” or the gap between research and commercialization, by expanding and creating infrastructure to make tech transfer more viable.

For example, the EFA calls for the launch of 10 to 15 new Regional Technology Hubs across the country, specifically in areas that aren’t as established as tech hubs like Boston and San Francisco. With a budget of $9.435 billion, the hubs would aid in the development of new technologies with high commercial potential. The hubs could also help boost economic development and investment in the given region.

“This represents a bold new approach to economic development. For the past 50 years, cutting-edge innovation — and especially innovation that has led to economic growth — has predominantly been developed in a relatively few parts of the country,” says Russ Harrision, director of government relations at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) USA.

“By creating research and manufacturing hubs outside of these clusters, the EFA will extend the benefits of the innovative work being done in Silicon Valley to other parts of the country — especially parts that so far have been on the periphery of our innovative economy,” says Harrison. “America’s most innovative minds may be concentrated in a few cities, but there are innovative minds, companies, and universities all over our country.” 

On the research side, the EFA allocates $100 billion to the National Science Foundation, most of which will be spent on basic research at national labs and universities. But even then, the bill focuses on research fields that are crucial to the development — and commercialization — of fast-growth technologies, such as quantum computing, robotics, biotechnology, cybersecurity, advanced energy, data storage, and others.

“If you look more closely,” Harrison adds, “it is clear that the EFA is much more than just a research bill.”

Source: InSight

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News