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The Department of Energy has made a formidable contribution to the advancement of the scientific and technological knowledge frontier. In particular, DOE sponsors more basic and applied scientific research in the physical sciences than any other U.S. federal agency and all of this is made possible by the taxpayer.
Additionally, in the March 2011 Federal Laboratory Technology Transfer Summary Report to the President and the Congress, it was noted that in FY09 across the federal government there were over 4,400 new inventions of which 33% were from DOE; 1,500 new patents issued with 35% from DOE; and over 2,000 new patent applications of which 44% were from DOE.
If the DOE is thought of as an organization that generates innovative “products”—the cutting edge research, discoveries, patents, inventions and other technological results—then the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is its “storefront”. It is precisely from this storefront that the taxpayer—the citizen, the businessperson, the entrepreneur, the student, or the researcher—is able to access transparently this enormous array of products, know-how and scientific information.
OSTI recognizes that in this storefront capacity, it plays a crucial role not only in generating return on investment (ROI) for the taxpayer in terms of making the fruits of their “investments” available to those that are interested, but also in being a catalyst for the generation of economic activity which supports and creates jobs each year from the commercialization of government-funded research.
OSTI is continuously looking at creative and innovative ways for increasing the access to and awareness of this wealth of information, which, to take the storefront analogy further, would constitute marketing and distribution for DOE “products”. It is aggressively aiming to enable pursuit of the mandates of the recent October 28, 2011 Presidential Memorandum calling for “increas[ing] the number and pace of effective… commercialization activities [of Agencies with National Laboratories] in partnership with non federal entities, including private firms, research organizations, and nonprofit entities”. By providing a showcase for DOE “products” OSTI strives to highlight the continuous stream of DOE homeruns, research breakthroughs, and business-ready inventions and discoveries.
We welcome all to stop by OSTI, the DOE storefront, and browse the vast and amazing “product offering” that the Department of Energy has to offer.