• ensuring consistent implementation of federal technology transfer laws by all agencies;

  • reviewing agency diligence and actions with respect to Determinations of Exceptional Circumstances, government use rights, and exercise of march-in rights;

  • revisiting the Department of Commerce regulations implementing several provisions of the Bayh-Dole Act, including the conditions for access to and use of data gathered about inventions;

  • heading an interagency committee on technology transfer that would, for example, evaluate and develop a government-wide position on proposed changes to the Act or system; and

  • reviewing with other agencies and with representatives of research universities and relevant professional groups the data that should be collected from universities.

To play an effective role, the oversight unit needs to extend its outreach not only to other federal research agencies but also to the university research community.

Effective oversight relies on the availability of relevant data, for which the NIH iEdison database services as a central repository, but institutional reporting has been judged by the Government Accountability Office to be incomplete and access to the data is severely restricted.

Recommendation 15: Federal research agencies should reinvigorate the requirement that institutions reliably and consistently provide data to iEdison on the utilization of federally funded inventions, including licensing agreements and efforts to obtain such utilization. Such data should be available for analysis by qualified researchers who agree not to disclose the parties to or terms of particular agreements.

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