This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research profile.
From desktops to tablets, and from floppy disks to flash drives, technology is constantly changing. Each new idea is developed in an effort to solve old problems. That’s why the White House issued a plan last year to help stimulate our nation’s economic development and create jobs by accelerating Federal science and technology (S&T) innovations.
To support that plan, USDA agencies with science research missions that develop innovations in agriculture and that support businesses that adopt innovations for commercialization will work together to foster technology transfer to support U.S. business growth.
A specific plan outlining USDA’s goals and metrics for this effort is detailed in its recently released report, “A Departmental Response to the Presidential Memorandum—Accelerating Technology Transfer and Commercialization of Federal Research in Support of High-Growth Businesses.” The plan references 32 initiatives to promote technology transfer and commercialization that will occur during the 2013-2017 timeframe. Most of the initiatives described in this plan will begin in 2013 and will continue through the five-year period, ushering in a new era of service to enhance opportunities for our customers.
Under the plan, USDA agencies will report on progress annually—demonstrating what Americans are getting for their tax investment—through the USDA Science Council. This plan will be a road map that keeps USDA S&T efforts moving forward, fostering an environment for continued creativity and ingenuity leading to scientific breakthroughs—one that may be “the next big thing” that could be a game-changer for our country and our economy.
I am excited about and committed to the opportunity to lead USDA’s effort unifying research, development, and commercialization outcomes of its science agencies to deliver S&T outcomes to the public.
In addition to partnering with the private sector, USDA will work with multiple agencies to solve problems and achieve anticipated public benefit. By collaborating with both public and private entities, we will help speed the process of adopting innovations through technology transfer, which ultimately strengthens our economy. The American public directly benefits from what USDA’s science and technology brings to them.
As part of this new approach, two USDA agencies, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Foreign Agricultural Service, will work together to help U.S. businesses find new markets and opportunities outside of the United States for agricultural products and services arising from ARS innovations.