Paul Hommert has been named 2013 Laboratory Director of the Year by the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) for his support of Sandia’s technology transfer activities.
The FLC said the award recognized the excellence of work during 2012 by Paul, Sandia’s president and Laboratories director, and the entire Sandia technology transfer program.
“Dr. Hommert has been a strong advocate for the overarching DOE strategic objectives calling for innovation to strengthen US economic competitiveness and improve the quality of life through science and engineering breakthroughs,” Jackie Kerby Moore, manager of Technology and Economic Development Dept. 7933 and Sandia’s representative to the
FLC, said in nominating Paul for the award. “This is accomplished by maintaining a strong technology partnerships program with industry, academia, and other national laboratories.”
Jackie said Paul has been instrumental in building the strategic relationships necessary to foster technology transfer and commercialization.
“Tech transfer is a Sandia mission requirement. Achieving excellence in our commercialization strategy and management is key to our strategic objectives,” Paul says. “We are trusted by the taxpayers to do research and we owe it to them to be strategic about intellectual property and the role it can play in technology transfer. We want to leverage research dollars for economic growth. We have much to offer the country.”
Paul says he is honored and humbled by the FLC award and what it represents. “This recognition is not just for me but for the many Sandians who work
tirelessly to make the results of our research available to government, industry, and academia for the US public good.”
One of Paul’s priorities was to develop an Intellectual Property Lifecycle initiative, rolled out in March 2012. It promotes IP management throughout its lifecycle and asks Sandians to think about IP development, protection, and deployment — and potential industrial partners — in the early R&D phase of a project.
The IP initiative works with ongoing technology transfer programs such as the Entrepreneurial Separation for Technology Transfer (ESTT), which allows employees to leave the Labs to start up new technology companies or help expand existing ones; the Sandia Science & Technology Park, a 300-acre master-planned research park adjacent to the laboratories with 33 companies and 2,500 employees; the New Mexico Small Business Assistance (NMSBA) program, which provided Sandia technical help to 196 small companies in 2012; licensing roundtables; and cooperative research and development agreements.
Last year Sandia became an early leader in DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Initiative, which enables small companies to use the SBIR/STTR funding mechanism to leverage technology developed at DOE national laboratories. Also in 2012, Sandia held its first annual Research & Technology Showcase featuring cutting-edge technology and providing information on doing business with the Labs.
And Sandia’s Intellectual Property Management, Alliances and Licensing Department is taking part in the White House’s Startup America Initiative to give young companies quick, affordable license option agreements.
Tech transfer at Sandia produced royalty receipts of $4.48 million in fiscal year 2012, a Labs record. In fiscal years 2011 and 2012, Sandia won eight R&D 100 awards, five FLC national awards and seven FLC regional awards.
Peter Atherton, senior manager of Industry Partnerships Dept. 7930, says Paul has provided leadership and personal involvement in the Labs’ technology transfer efforts. “He opened the first Sandia Science & Technology Showcase event that attracted nearly 400 people,” he says. “This award is especially timely considering Paul’s kickoff of the IP Lifecycle initiative. We were very proud to nominate him.”
The awards ceremony will be April 25 at the FLC national meeting in Westminster, Colo.
The FLC is a nationwide network of more than 300 members that provides the forum to develop strategies and opportunities for linking laboratory mission technologies and expertise with the marketplace.
The FLC Awards Program annually recognizes federal laboratories and their industry partners for outstanding technology transfer efforts. Since its establishment in 1984 the FLC has presented awards to nearly 200 federal laboratories, becoming one of the most prestigious honors in technology transfer.