Black innovators, inventors, and industrialists can get help this week converting their ideas into marketplace products at a five-city tour being offered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency.
The MBDA InVision Tour starts in Atlanta on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 6-7. It will include stops in Houston, San Francisco, New York City, and Miami. It will inform minority businesses on how to access federal resources to develop new products, create jobs, and build wealth in their communities.
“The Minority Business Development Agency is proud to partner with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to support minority business development through technology transfer,” MBDA National Director Henry Childs, II, stated in a press release. “MBDA will support American innovation and global competitiveness by helping to increase diversity and inclusion in the technology industry.”
Conference attendants will learn about the technology transfer process and how to use the federal government’s 300-plus-laboratories and research centers to license their technologies.
Technology transfer (T2) is the process by which existing knowledge, facilities, or capabilities developed under federal R&D funding are used to fulfill public and private needs. A large bulk of products Americans rely on today come from tech transfer processes. The federal government invests more than $150 billion annually on research.
Two-thirds of the nation’s most influential technologies of the past 50 years, including smartphones, driverless vehicles, personalized medicine, and GPS—were developed using government technology.
The event is ideal for innovators and industrialist with the next big ideas they want to bring to market and protect with copyrights and patents. They will get a chance to huddle, network, and build partnerships with more than 200 professionals and entrepreneurs in their industries. Participants also will gain access to R&D labs, facility space, patent attorneys, and other resources.
The tour will present opportunities for cooperative research and development agreements with university and federal researchers. It also will provide information on the funding, facilities, patents, and equipment that federal laboratories offer.
The event, mainly geared for minority business owners, is free and open to the public.
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Jeffrey McKinney is a long-time freelance business writer and reporter, contributing to Black Enterprise magazine for several years on broad range of business and financial topics. He also writes regularly for Franchise Times, a highly regarded publication covering the franchise industry.