The Tech Must Flow

Although often hamstrung by bureaucratic inefficiency, the U.S. government has achieved considerable success in the field of scientific research. In fact, many indispensible products have been created in government labs, such as GPS navigation and the Internet. The government also produces people who are able to become entrepreneurs or add value to existing companies. For the technology and cybersecurity industries specifically, former government employees can be sources of extremely rare expertise. The government is able to support technological innovation by virtue of being able to pour a great deal of money into research and development.  In 2015 alone, the government spent approximately 136.4 billion on research projects.

The flow of technologies from the government to the private sector is primarily governed by two laws: the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Act of 1980 and the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986. These laws require federal laboratories to promote the transfer of technology to private firms and allow for non-federal entities to engage in collaborative research with them. Ideally, this allows the federal government to translate technological advances into economic advantages for both American firms and the American economy as a whole. Equally important, these laws delineate how that process works in order to ensure that the money generated is used appropriately.

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