Bridging the gap between federal scientific research and the marketplace requires a process specifically designed to accelerate technology maturity and create partnerships with private industry. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) established the Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP) to address this need. Through CAP, DHS S&T is adapting and leveraging federally funded mission-relevant technologies to enhance the operational capabilities of DHS and Homeland Security Enterprise (HSE) end users.
CAP has three main goals:
- Identify promising federally funded technologies that address an existing or imminent need that impacts the DHS mission.
- Increase utilization of federally funded R&D to enhance HSE capabilities through partnerships, product development efforts, and commercialization.
- Improve the long-term ability of federal government research organizations to more efficiently transfer HSE-relevant technologies.
Technology transfer remains a difficult endeavor with many challenges. Only a small fraction of the scientific research performed in federal laboratories reaches the marketplace where it can have an impact. This problem is often a result of lack of partnerships between the government and the private sector, nonexistent funding and other resources to mature the technology, and inefficient processes to transfer technology out of the laboratory environment. By enabling the transfer of HSE mission-relevant technology, CAP supports the third goal in the S&T 2020- 2025 Strategic Plan to strengthen external partnerships that advance homeland security mission priorities.
CAP collaborates with many sources to identify the most promising DHS mission-relevant federally funded technology that demonstrates commercialization promise. Selected technologies, depending on readiness, advance through a structured process designed to accelerate the path from lab to market that includes: training, market validation, testing and evaluation, pilot deployment, and outreach to potential partners, investors and integrators. CAP supports multiple paths for technology transfer, including licensing, start-up creation, open source, and government use.
CAP focuses on the maturation, acceleration, and transfer of federally funded technology relevant to the HSE from:
- Department of Energy National Laboratories
- Department of Defense Laboratories
- Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs)
- University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs)