A National Public-Private Partnership Innovation Program
National innovation intermediary to implement different program elements
Our chart on page 7 illustrates that a non-profit National Public-Private Partnership Innovation Program sits at the center of our national innovation framework. This NPPPIP would administer unique innovation programs to fill the innovation life cycle gaps that exist in America today, including support in the areas of intellectual property and technology transfer, early-stage business and product development, early-stage financing, commercialization, technical assistance and mentoring and the implementation of other programs to address key issues. This program would also oversee the national innovation seed fund investments in tandem with the Federal Innovation Partnership program and the National Innovation Advisor.
Above all, though, this non-profit, public-private organization would act as a strategic mechanism to engage the innovation ecosystem like any strong outreach and implementation-driven organization. Its effectiveness would be supported by the consortium of partnership organizations, in which it will lead and also its partnership with the new Federal Innovation Partnership program and the National Innovation Advisor. The proposed partners in this organization would include but not be limited to the following organizations, which together represent significant sectors that support the acceleration of the nation’s innovation economy:
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers
- Angel Capital Association
- Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
- Association of University Research Parks
- Association of University Technology Managers
- Community Development Venture Capital Alliance
- National Association of Seed and Venture Funds
- National Business Incubation Association
- State Science and Technology Institute
Furthermore, this partnership will be able to elevate efforts and directly link with intermediaries and other bodies in states and localities throughout the United States, which is not currently a shared agenda by the federal government. Regional intermediaries have been effective in operating in states and localities to accomplish strategic agendas with multiple partners and many stakeholders.
These organizations can successfully launch a paradigm shift to transition and position places, people, and organizations to nurture innovation-based economies. Our approach introduces the concept of a comprehensive national broad-based innovation intermediary that would fulfill this role. And the ability of the organization to operate outside the realm of the federal government would help ensure swifter implementation and leadership on strategic agendas while receiving input from a National Innovation Advisor with access to the President and Federal Innovation Partnership of government agencies.
A further function of this organization would be to operate programs and serve as an accelerator that advances technologies into the marketplace for the increased stimulation of innovation in the national economy. The partners’ deep experience in this organization in early-stage investing would be instrumental in the deployment of the National Innovation Seed Fund as well as our proposed Technical Assistance Grant Fund, which would be administered by this non-profit organization. Support for this fund will come from the same originating agency of the NISF and remain a constant percentage of the overall investment pool.
The proposed Technical Assistance Grant Fund would serve as a support fund for early-stage investing, similar to the technical assistance fund currently affiliated with the New Markets Tax Credit program. The public-private partnership organization would select the best programs for business mentoring practices and due diligence support, and would provide funding for business incubation and acceleration models that incorporate virtual models, including the iBridge Network of the Kauffman Foundation and the National Innovation Marketplace currently supported by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
As project manager of the National Innovation Seed Fund and Technical Assistance Grant Fund, our public-private partnership organization would lead the charge in bridging problems in early-stage financing and commercialization of innovation-based enterprises. It would also operate other programs that are critical to building national innovation capacity, including those engaged in:
- Direct investment
- Technical assistance, education, and mentoring
- Technology, economic and workforce development
- Networking, strategic planning, marketing, and branding
In short, the core competency of this organization will be the conception and formation of key innovation-based products and services that will assist the networks and leverage resources to the support networks working with individual entrepreneurs and others working to accelerate innovation on a national level.