Friday August 10, 2012 0 comments
Northern Colorado is fortunate to have so many federal research laboratories cleanly toiling away in its backyard -- providing great jobs, huge infusions of federal research dollars into the region's economy and lab-created innovations needing local entrepreneurs and investors to take them to market, make a profit and create even more great jobs.
Estimates are that federal research labs across Colorado generate more than $1.5 billion into the state's economy each year, with more than $100 million injected into Larimer County alone.
For some start-up entrepreneurs, these laboratories may seem like dark and forbidding bastions of red tape and government bureaucracy.
Quite the contrary, said representatives of the region's federal labs on Aug. 7 during the first-ever Northern Colorado Technology Transfer Fair hosted by several government agencies that have local labs and presented with local sponsorship.
"If you come with the right mindset and really understand what you want to do, the labs are a tremendous asset and we want to partner with you," said Matt Ringer, commercialization and technology transfer manager for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden.
"We do a lot of research, but we need the private sector to bring it to commercialization," said Judy Lavelle with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. "That's why we need each other."
Yes, it's a symbiotic relationship at its best -- when the labs and the private sector work together to most efficiently utilize government-owned assets and resources to benefit both the private sector and the community-at-large through joint development of new products that create good-paying jobs.
That's when everybody wins.
Which is always a rare and seldom-seen phenomenon.
And that's why we believe the first-ever Northern Colorado Technology Transfer Fair was a fabulous idea, opening the possibility of closer relationships between the labs and the region's entrepreneur, investor and business communities.
Hopefully, stronger ties and more open communication will be the biggest outcomes from this needed event.