up to 15 institutes that are to serve as “regional hubs of manufacturing excellence.”7 The network is to be funded by a one-time $1 billion authorization, which was included in the 2013 President’s budget request. The recently established National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (namii.org) will serve as a pilot for the larger program. There are expected to be synergies between the NNI array of activities and these manufacturing-specific activities.
Collection and aggregation of data to support metrics that allow us to understand the synergies and interactions between the NNI and each of those programs are recommended in Chapter 4.
Relevant Nonfederal Programs
A number of state and regional technology-transfer programs that are not nanotechnology-specific are nonetheless relevant. Some examples of nonfederal funding and mentoring programs are these:
• The Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Partnership, which has over 20 years of successfully stimulating technology transfer (www.benfranklin.org).
• Technology-transfer initiatives at the state level that affect specific technology fields in various regions. An example is the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency, which has Directed Energy and Entrepreneur in Residence programs (www.nydirectedenergy.org, http://htr.org/nyserda_entrepreneurs_in_residence_program.asp) that target energy-related technologies in cooperation with university partners, such as the University of Buffalo’s Science, Technology Transfer, and Economic Outreach program.
• Pre-seed workshops that seek to help entrepreneurs and inventors to decide whether they have a commercializable product and whether they should pursue commercialization. They may be particularly important in organizations that do not have a strong culture of start-up activity because of various impediments, such as intellectual property (IP) policy limitations, tenure-track requirements, or a lack of funding, mentoring, or incubator access. For example, the State University of New York has funded preseed workshops of 2½ days to over 2 weeks in which each new business is partnered with local experienced IP, legal, business, financial, and other professionals in a team; addresses key business issues one by one; and then presents a pitch to a panel of investors. Such a process can serve as a practi-
7 National Institute of Standards and Technology, “President Proposes National Network for Manufacturing Innovation,” News Release, March 9, 2012, available at http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/releases/manufacturing-030912.cfm, accessed September 27, 2012.