The Lab-to-Market (L2M) subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on the Science and Technology Enterprise leads the Federal government-wide implementation of the Lab-to-Market Cross Agency Priority (L2M CAP) goal to improve the transition of Federally-funded research and development (R&D) from the laboratory to the marketplace as part of the President’s Management Agenda. The SBA serves on the L2M CAP goal team, as a resource and voice for small businesses.
Key strategies include increasing engagement with private sector technology development experts and investors and supporting innovative tools and services for technology transfer. The technology transfer and high growth startup communities must make the most of their potential to shape the future in the COVID-19 environment.
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Learn more from the L2M Global Entrepreneurship Week webinar in November 2020: Video recording
2020 L2M Prize Winners
A total of 18 prizes were awarded across three categories:
- "Super Connector" - Prizes of $10,000 for past efforts successfully including networks of underrepresented communities in the R&D innovation ecosystem.
- "Ecosystem Responder" - Prizes of $10,000 for timely and effective responses to the pandemic environment.
- "Visionary" - Prizes of $25,000 for the most creative and actionable ideas that build an inclusive R&D innovation ecosystem.
|Arrowhead Center||Las Cruces||New Mexico||Visionary||Video|
|Association for Women in Science STEM to Market Initiative and University of Toledo||Toledo||Ohio||Visionary||Video|
|Central Maine Growth Council||Waterville||Maine||Visionary||Video|
|Challenge America||Basalt||Colorado||Ecosystem Responder||Video|
|Colmena66||San Juan||Puerto Rico||Super Connector||Video|
|Hofstra University Center for Entrepreneurship||Hempstead||New York||Ecosystem Responder||Video|
|HUUB by CO+HOOTS||Phoenix / Mesa||Arizona||Ecosystem Responder||Video|
|Jackson State University||Jackson||Mississippi||Visionary||Video|
|JumpStart Inc.||Cleveland||Ohio||Ecosystem Responder||Video|
|Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC)||Lexington||Kentucky||Visionary||Video|
|Launch Minnesota||St. Paul||Minnesota||Super Connector||Video|
|MCA Innovation Center||El Paso||Texas||Visionary||Video|
|Startup Tucson||Tucson||Arizona||Super Connector||Video|
|Ventureprise at UNC Charlotte||Charlotte||North Carolina||Visionary||Video|
About the L2M Prize Competition
The Lab-to-Market (L2M) Inclusive Innovation Ecosystem Prize Competition was launched to recognize the most impactful organizations, programs, and ideas that support R&D innovation ecosystems, particularly those focused on underrepresented communities and pandemic responses.
To compete, over 160 applicants submitted a ten-slide presentation and a 90-second video describing their projects. The prize competition closed on October 14, 2020. The total prize purse was $330,000 divided in cash prizes of $10,000 or $25,000 each. 74 subject matter expert reviewers from across non-profit foundations, investment firms, Federal agencies and other organizations participated as judges in a multi-tiered review process.
The R&D innovation ecosystem describes the complex community of participants and resources needed to develop and commercialize technology. This ecosystem includes the people (students, faculty, industry researchers, investors, et al) that make up the institutional entities (universities, businesses, funding agencies, venture capital firms, state and local economic development organizations, entrepreneur support organizations, etc.), material resources (funding, equipment, facilities, etc.), and the relationships among these interconnected actors. These ecosystems may operate at different geographic levels (e.g. city, regional, national) and within multiple sectors (e.g. health, energy, agriculture).
Entrepreneurs may lack knowledge about available ecosystem resources or have difficulty navigating and finding them, posing significant barriers to entry, and keeping the best minds and ideas from reaching their full potential. Additionally, resources and capital are not reaching all Americans evenly, and the economic impacts of COVID-19 could increase this inequality.
Connectivity and coordination across R&D innovation ecosystems is even more critical today to support recovery from potential COVID-19 impacts on high growth startups. Ensuring that access to resources and capital are available to all Americans is essential in creating a robust and dynamic workforce with inclusive growth, and ensuring the benefits of entrepreneurship accrue across the nation.
The goals of this competition were:
- to highlight successful examples of R&D innovation ecosystems, particularly those that include underrepresented communities;
- to surface the most innovative practices or solutions to mitigate secondary impacts of COVID-19 on high growth startups; and
- to enhance the connection and integration of Federal resources that support innovation ecosystems.