Karina Edmonds: A New Tech Transfer Advocate at DOE

With unemployment affecting 9 percent of Americans and politicians of both parties talking constantly about the need for jobs, an important but neglected directive in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 is finally getting the attention it deserves.

The six-year-old law directed the Secretary of Energy to put one person in charge of technology transfer. The goal is to overhaul the agency’s efforts to move government funded science and technology to the marketplace. It’s been slow-going, and Ray Orbach, who pulled double-duty as interim tech transfer coordinator and director of the DOE’s Office of Science for several years, did a commendable job of organizing the framework for the office. But now a full-time tech transfer coordinator is on the job.

Meet Karina Edmonds, who assumed the post of technology transfer coordinator in April 2010. An aeronautical engineer, Dr. Edmonds was previously the director of Jet Propulsion Laboratory technology transfer at the California Institute of Technology. In addition to her expertise in tech transfer at the highest levels of the field, Edmonds is also a registered patent agent. She recently spoke with Innovation’s Tom Michael about her goals for the department, stumbling blocks to successful tech transfer at DOE and how she plans to overcome them.

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