Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory celebrated more than 250 Lab inventors and software developers and collaborators at a “Royal-T” event on March 26, 2021. View the event video recording (00:48:48)
The event recognized those whose innovations and software were licensed to industry and other entities during the Lab’s 2020 fiscal year. In total, these entities paid millions in royalties to the Lab for licensed inventions and copyrighted software and books.
“Taking laboratory technologies and launching them in the marketplace is how we deliver the promises we make to the public—it supports job creation, fights climate change and makes a real impact in all our lives,” said Dr. Vanessa Z. Chan, Chief Commercialization Officer for the U.S. Department of Energy.
“Technology transfer is not only critical to the Lab’s mission of bringing science solutions to the world. It is also critical to the Lab’s research as part of the royalties are used for funding research at the Lab,” said Horst Simon, Deputy Director for Research at the Lab.
Royalty payments fund Lab research
After patenting costs are reimbursed, 65% of net royalties are used to fund Berkeley Lab research – 50% via the general fund and 15% via Area funds – and 35% go to the researchers themselves.
More than 80 Lab technologies are currently being licensed, protected by more than 250 patents and patent applications. Examples of licensed technologies include:
- Localization and Mapping Platform (LAMP), software for detecting radiation, exclusively licensed to Gamma Reality, Inc. (developed by Applied Nuclear Physics, Physical Sciences Area)
- Phenix software, which automates the determination of molecular structures using X-ray crystallography and other methods, licensed to multiple companies (Biosciences Area)
- “Artificial positive feedback loop,” or APFL, technology, licensed to FuturaGene, a Brazilian paper and biomass company. APFL can enhance or develop traits to optimize wood quality for pulping and bioenergy applications (Joint BioEnergy Institute, Biosciences Area)
- A next-generation acoustic platform using graphene electrostatic transducers that can operate as speakers, microphones, and sensors, licensed to Graph Audio (Materials Science Division, Energy Sciences Area)
“Technology transfer is the process of converting cutting edge research into products and companies and jobs,” said Russell Carrington, the Lab’s Chief Technology Transfer Officer. “We congratulate our inventors and software developers for their contributions to our economy and society, and encourage them to contact us if they have innovations that may be appropriate for industry.”