Federal Acceleration of State Technologies (FAST)

What is FAST and Why is it Needed?

FAST is a federal funding strategy for accelerating the commercialization of new state-developed technologies. Mike Alder, CEO of the new National Centers of Excellence (NCOE) points out in his new report on state technology investment, "The combined state-level investment in new technology development rose from $300 million per year in 1997 to over $3 billion in 2004. This 10-fold increase underscores the importance state governments place on new technology commercialization as a means to achieve increased economic impact for their states."

Thus there are 3 important trends in new technology development:

  • States are investing increasingly more money in their Centers of Excellence to help stimulate local economies.
  • Technology commercialization depends heavily on the ability of manufacturers to produce viable products.
  • The speed that products go from R&D to their mature markets is critical to their sustained economic impact.

Moving technology to successful commercialization (jobs) involves other very important issues such as:

  • Cost per Job Created
  • Percentage of R&D Budget Invested per Job
  • Economic Value of Jobs Created
  • Job Retention vs. Job Creation

Industry is clearly the largest and most efficient creator of innovative high technology, as well as the most effective means for tech transfer and good commercialization. Small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) produce 98% of the U.S. made products that are consumed in American markets. Thus, the federal government should be at least as interested in technology commercialization as it is in supporting technology R&D.

Research and Development Budget for SMEs

Currently the U.S. federal government annually invests $133 billion through its various agencies and programs in R&D. Most of this goes to large industry and higher education. A total of 2.25% (about $3 billion) is set aside for the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program, to help create innovative products wanted by federal agencies. What if the federal government matched state investment to encourage innovative high-tech development by the existing 354,000 SMEs? This $3 billion match is the FAST strategy.

FAST is an Investment, Not an Expense

WestCAMP has a short presentation on the FAST concept. It explains what it is, how it would be funded, how funds would be distributed, and how the program can be totally self-sustaining once it is properly established and seeded. The presentation explains that MEP organizations around the country will have responsibilities to assist in getting FAST funding appropriately distributed.

Become Involved

If you have specific questions about the FAST program, or would like to participate directly in helping promote its implementation by the federal government, please contact WestCAMP.

This page uses valid XHTML & CSS. Last Modified: 31 Dec 1969

Copyright (c) 2005 WestCAMP Inc. All rights reserved.