MOU builds on presence of 50 local federal facilities to support increased collaboration and tech transfer for Montgomery County companies
Rockville, Md. — The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) and the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize a strategic partnership to help build a stronger local relationship between federal labs and Montgomery County’s private sector, particularly small businesses.
This FLC/MCEDC partnership will help advance technology transfer (T2) opportunities for Montgomery County businesses, bringing new cutting-edge technology to the marketplace. As increased engagement between the labs and businesses leads to more research collaboration and tech commercialization, the partnership has the exciting potential to accelerate the local economy and aid in job creation.
This is the first FLC MOU signed with a county economic development organization. With its significant concentration and diversity of major federal facilities, Montgomery County, MD is a natural choice for a formalized joint agreement between the FLC and a local economic development organization. According to the recent FLC draft census, Maryland is home to around 95 federal labs—of which approximately 50 are in Montgomery County. Their presence creates many potential opportunities to help drive the local economy and support emerging industry sectors such as immunology and quantum computing.
In a strengthened relationship with MCEDC, the FLC member laboratories can advance their national mission through greater collaboration with local and regional businesses. As an example, Maryland’s TEDCO recently won two FLC National Awards specifically for their work with federal labs NIST and NCI, resulting in new business and job creation.
“By maximizing our local federal presence, we are creating greater opportunities for Montgomery County businesses to partner and commercialize exciting new technologies being developed by some of our top federal scientists,” said Benjamin H. Wu, MCEDC President & CEO. “This timely partnership with FLC charts another path for us to support more cross-over, content-rich innovation projects to benefit our diverse business community—resulting in a stronger economy for all.”
The connecting opportunities created by this first-ever FLC partnership with a local economic development entity like MCEDC can serve as a model for other jurisdictions, creating a formal process to share resources and enhance the transfer of federal laboratory research and technology.
“Partnerships are the key to successful technology transfer programs. We work with many labs and learn best practices for engaging partners and building meaningful relationships to move federal discoveries out of the labs and into the marketplace,” said John Dement, FLC Chair. “Year after year, the T2 community engages in partnerships benefitting research, innovation and public health, leading to greater value for the next generation.”
Some key elements of the new partnership include stronger collaboration between FLC and MCEDC to find collaborative opportunities, create a larger presence in each partner’s marketing outreach, educate businesses on federal programs, and jointly sponsor events to widen the outreach to new companies.
The FLC promotes, facilitates and educates labs and industry about the tech transfer process. More than 300 federal laboratories and agencies develop and generate technologies that ultimately benefit the welfare of the public, and support the military at home and abroad. See examples of public/private partnerships facilitated by the FLC.
The FLC/MCEDC Memorandum of Understanding can be found here.
The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) is the official public-private economic development organization representing Montgomery County, Maryland. Created in 2016, MCEDC is led by a Board of Directors of business executives. Its mission is to help businesses start, grow and relocate in Montgomery County by helping them gain access to top talent, business and market intelligence and prime locations. For more information, visit our website. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) is a formally chartered, nationwide network of more than 300 federal laboratories, agencies, and research centers that foster commercialization best practice strategies and opportunities for accelerating federal technologies from out of the labs and into the marketplace. To learn more, visit www.federallabs.org.