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Advancing Commercialization from the Federal Laboratories

An ad hoc committee under the auspices of the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP) will identify and prioritize opportunities to add economic value to U.S. industry through enhanced utilization of intellectual property around digital products created at federal laboratories. 

Specifically, the committee will:

(1) examine commercialization of digital products from federally funded R&D at laboratories and extramural awardees;
(2) consider issues in the ownership, use, and repurposing of data, and the effect of data use restrictions on the use and analysis of multiple data sets from different sources;
(3) examine the current state of commercialization of digital products, including barriers to commercialization of digital products;
(4) evaluate approaches for government-owned, contractor-operator (GOCO) and government-owned, government-operated (GOGO) federal labs to incentivize their researchers and the private sector to commercialize digital products;
(5) review open source versus protected proprietary control of digital products and the factors that lead to making a determination of a selected pathway for commercialization; and
(6) offer recommendations for improvements regarding these digital products, especially with regard to increasing commercialization and use of these digital products in the private sector.

The committee will convene one public workshop and will issue a consensus report at the conclusion of the study.

Meetings and Events
Meeting #1: Sept. 5-6, Washington, DC | View Agenda

Committee Members
Ruth L. Okediji (Co-Chair)
is the Jeremiah Smith, Jr, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Co-Director of the Berkman Klein Center. A renowned scholar in international intellectual property law and a foremost authority on the role of intellectual property in social and economic development, Professor Okediji has advised inter-governmental organizations, regional economic communities, and national governments on a range of matters related to technology, innovation policy, and development. Professor Okediji seved on the National Academies' Committee on the Impact of Copyright Policy on Innovation in the Digital Era (2010–2013). Professor Okediji is a graduate of the University of Jos and Harvard Law School.

Donald Siegel (Co-Chair) is Foundation Professor of Public Policy and Management and director of the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University. He was a Sloan Foundation post-doctoral fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and taught at SUNY-Stony Brook, the University of Nottingham, RPI, where was he was chair of the Economics Department, the University of California-Riverside, where he served as associate dean for graduate studies, and the University at Albany, SUNY, where he served as Dean of the School of Business from 2008-2016. Dr. Siegel previously chaired the National Academies’ Committee on Best Practices in National Innovation Programs for Flexible Electronics (2010–2014) and was a member of the Committee on Capitalizing on Science, Technology, and Innovation (SBIR Phase II) from 2009 to 2016. Dr. Siegel received his bachelor’s degree in economics and his master’s and doctoral degrees in business economics from Columbia University. In 2016, he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Management.

Margo A. Bagley is an Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law. She rejoined the Emory faculty in 2016 after a decade at the University of Virginia, School of Law, where she was most recently the Hardy Cross Dillard Professor of Law. Her scholarship focus includes issues relating to patents, biotechnology, and technology transfer and she helped develop the joint Emory University-Georgia Institute of Technology TI:GER technology commercialization education program. Professor Bagley served on the National Academies’ Committee on University Management of Intellectual Property: Lessons from a Generation of Experience, Research, and Dialogue (2008–2011), as well as on the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Digital Sequence Information on Genetic Resources (2018). She holds a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and worked in R&D for both the Procter & Gamble Company and the Coca Cola Company. She is a co-inventor on a U.S. patent for reduced-fat peanut butter, and also held research internships at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, AT& T Bell Laboratories, and the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. She received her J.D. in 1996 from Emory University, where she was a Robert W. Woodruff Fellow and elected to Order of the Coif, and practiced law with Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP and Smith Gambrell & Russell, LLP.

Wesley M. Cohen
is Professor of Economics and Management and the Snow Family Professor of Business Administration in the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He also holds secondary appointments in Duke’s Department of Economics and School of Law, is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and serves as the faculty director of the Fuqua School’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. With a research focus on the economics of technological change and R&D, Professor Cohen has examined the determinants of innovative activity and performance, considering the roles of firm size, market structure, firm learning, knowledge flows, university research, and the means that firms use to protect their intellectual property, with a particular focus on patents. He served on the National Academies’ Committee on Management of University Intellectual Property (2008–2011), the Panel to Review Research and Development Statistics at the National Science Foundation (2003–2004), and the Committee on Intellectual Property Rights in the Knowledge-Based Economy: Phase II (2000–2004). Professor Cohen received his Ph.D. in economics from Yale University.

Shane Greenstein is the Martin Marshall Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and co-chair of the HBS Digital Initiative. He teaches in the Technology, Operations and Management Unit. Professor Greenstein is also co-director of the program on the economics of digitization at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Encompassing a wide array of questions about computing, communication, and internet markets, Professor Greenstein’s research extends from economic measurement and analysis to broader issues. His most recent book focuses on the development of the commercial internet in the United States. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1989 and his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1983, both in economics.

Mark S. Kamlet is University Professor of Economics and Public Policy and Provost Emeritus at Carnegie Mellon University, with joint appointments in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. Dr. Kamlet has served on the National Academies’ Committee in Poison Prevention and Control, 2003–2004; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, 2002–2006; and the Committee on Management of University Intellectual Property, 2008–2011. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Kamlet earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Stanford University. He has a master’s in mathematical statistics, a masters in economics, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley.

Arti Rai, Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law and faculty director of The Center for Innovation Policy at Duke University School of Law, is an internationally recognized expert in intellectual property law, innovation policy, administrative law, and health law. Professor Rai’s current work focuses on the intersection of trade secrecy incentives and explainability in artificial intelligence-enabled health care delivery. From 2009 to 2010, Professor Rai served as the administrator of the Office of External Affairs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Professor Rai has also served on the National Academies’ Committee on Understanding the Global Public Health Implications of Substandard, Falsified, and Counterfeit Medical Products (2012–2013) and on the Committee on Strategies for Responsible Sharing of Clinical Trial Data (2013–2015), in addition to reviewing reports for other committees. Professor Rai graduated from Harvard College, magna cum laude, with a degree in biochemistry and history (history and science), attended Harvard Medical School for the 1987–1988 academic year, and received her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1991.

Joel Waldfogel is associate dean of MBA Programs and the Frederick R. Kappel Chair in Applied Economics, Strategic Management, and Entrepreneurship at the Carlson School of Management of the University of Minnesota. His main research interests are industrial organization and law and economics, and he has conducted empirical studies of price advertising, media markets, the operation of differentiated product markets, and issues related to digital products, including piracy, pricing, and revenue sharing. Dr. Waldfogel previously served as a member on the National Academies’ Committee to Improve Research Information and Data on Firearms (2001–2005) and of the Committee on the Impact of Copyright Policy on Innovation in the Digital Era (2010–2013). Dr. Waldfogel received a B.A. in economics from Brandeis University and a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.

Jetta Wong is President of JLW Advising, her consulting practice, where she advises clients on how to bring new clean energy technologies to the market. One of her main clients is the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, a private, non-profit organization that works with startups to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies. Before joining LACI, Ms. Wong established the Office of Technology Transitions for the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and served as its first director. She joined DOE in 2012 in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, where she worked on clean energy manufacturing and led the office’s National Laboratory Impact Initiative. Before joining DOE, Ms. Wong worked for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, where she helped establish and oversee energy and environment programs of the federal government. Ms. Wong holds a MPS in legislative affairs from George Washington University and a B.S. in natural resources and the environment from the University of Michigan.


Project Staff:

Study Director
Anita Eisenstadt (

Program Officer
David Dierksheide (Email)

Research Associate
Fred Lestina (Email)

Sponsor:  National Institute of Standards and Technology