U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich Advances Legislation To Establish Tech-Transfer Maturation Program

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. Senate News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 19, 2019) – U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) has advanced legislation to authorize an Energy Technology Maturation Program at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to facilitate successful commercialization of laboratory-developed energy technologies and boost regional, technology-driven economic impact.

Senator Heinrich introduced the Energy Technology Maturation Program Act of 2019 (S. 1286) earlier this year, and on Tuesday, the bill was reported by a voice vote during a markup in the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Senator Heinrich, a member of the committee, has led the effort to make it easier for the private sector to engage with national laboratories to commercialize innovative technology.

“In New Mexico, we are proud to be home to two of the Department of Energy’s largest laboratories – Los Alamos and Sandia – that play critical roles in both national security and the development of advanced energy technologies,” Heinrich said. “This bill is a bipartisan effort to bridge the gap between lab research and development by improving the process of transferring innovative technologies – with considerable market potential – from the labs to the private sector. Providing a steady stream of technologies creates an environment that strengthens New Mexico’s economy through job creation, federal research investments, and marketable commercial products.”

The effective transfer of technologies from DOE facilities to businesses that can turn them into commercial successes is an essential element of the country’s innovation ecosystem and critical to U.S. competitiveness in an increasingly demanding, technology-driven global market. Technology maturation funding accelerates the successful transfer of technologies from national laboratories and can often provide the necessary link between an innovative process for technology and a real-world application with powerful market potential.

Under the Energy Technology Maturation Program, funding would be provided to help increase the maturity of technologies developed at DOE facilities with the goal of attracting a private partner that is willing to support the technology’s next steps to commercialization. The program would also provide funding to support cooperative development of a technology where a specific commercial partner has already been identified. Priority would be given to private-sector partnerships with small businesses.

A copy of the Energy Technology Maturation Program Act of 2019 (S. 1286) is available HERE. The companion bill (H.R. 2495) was introduced in the House by Assistant House Speaker Ben Ray Luján and U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland.