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A New Strategic Approach To Technology Transfer

By Mojdeh Bahar and Robert J. Griesbach

The principal goal of federal research and development (R&D) is to solve problems for public benefit. Technology transfer (TT) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has always been a core part of its mission, but has usually been addressed after a research project is completed. As a result, TT may either not reach desired impact, or arrive at the scene when the technology is commercially non-viable or scientifically obsolete. In order to better help USDA scientists, we have adopted a new paradigm. In this new paradigm, TT is not an afterthought, but an essential and integrated part of the research process beginning when the research objectives are first conceived. By aligning TT with research objectives, the impact of research outcomes will be strengthened.

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