Stevenson–Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980

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Stevenson–Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980
Great Seal of the United States
Long titleAn Act to promote United States technological innovation for the achievement of national economic, environmental, and social goals, and for other purposes.
Enacted bythe 96th United States Congress
EffectiveOctober 21, 1980
Public lawPub.L. 96–480
Statutes at Large94 Stat. 2311
Titles amended15 U.S.C.: Commerce and Trade
U.S.C. sections created15 U.S.C. ch. 63
U.S.C. sections amendedChapter 63 § 3701
Legislative history

The Stevenson–Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (Pub.L. 96–480) (94 Stat. 2311) was the first major U.S. technology transfer law. It required federal laboratories to actively participate in and budget for technology transfer activities.

The Stevenson–Wydler Technology Innovation Act was signed into law by U.S. President Jimmy Carter on October 21, 1980.[1]


The Act made it easier for federal laboratories to transfer technology to nonfederal entities and provided outside organizations with a means for accessing federal laboratory technologies.

The primary focus of the Stevenson–Wydler Act was to disseminate information from the federal government to the public and to require federal laboratories to actively engage in the technology transfer process. The law requires laboratories to set apart a percentage of the laboratory budget specifically for technology transfer activities. The law, specified in 15 USC § 3710, also established an Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA)-- staffed by at least 1 full-time person—in any laboratory with 200 or more scientific, engineering, or related technical positions, in order to coordinate and promote technology transfer.[2][3][4]

The Act created the Technology Administration in the Commerce Department.[5] which lasted until 2007.

This Act was the first of a number of laws defining and promoting technology transfer. The law was later amended by the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 and the America COMPETES Acts.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gerhard Peters; John T. Woolley. "Jimmy Carter: "Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 Statement on Signing S. 1250 Into Law" October 21, 1980". The American Presidency Project. University of California - Santa Barbara. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  2. ^ Jolly, J. A. (1981-09-30). "The Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 public law 96-480 - Springer". The Journal of Technology Transfer. 5: 69–80. doi:10.1007/BF02173394.
  3. ^ "Bill Summary & Status - 96th Congress (1979 - 1980) - S.1250 - All Information - THOMAS (Library of Congress)". 1980-10-21. Retrieved 2013-03-04.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "15 USC § 3710 - Utilization of Federal technology | Title 15 - Commerce and Trade | U.S. Code | LII / Legal Information Institute". Retrieved 2013-03-04.
  5. ^ Section 5 of 15 U.S.C. 3704 at google books