Innovation protecting tomorrow
The Richard P. Feynman Center for Innovation (FCI) was established to sustain a culture at Los Alamos that converts new ideas into solutions with an agility that enables the United States to protect against the threats unleashed by ever more rapidly changing technology. Moving beyond the traditional “commercialization-focused” approach to technology transfer, FCI emphasizes “mission-focused” technology transition. This focus is inspired by the legacy of Richard Feynman: creativity, unconstrained thinking about big problems, keen insight into solutions, and a flair for communication. Dr. Feynman was also one of the first patent holders at the Laboratory.
We Innovate in Three Main Areas
From Scientific Creativity to World-Changing Solutions
We define “innovation” in its most challenging sense: the path from scientific creativity to deployment of a solution that can change the world. To consistently innovate for our core missions, we must develop the people and practices that lead to innovation across the breadth of the Laboratory. This includes activities in three areas:
- Strategic Interagency Work: we deliver innovation, through an integrated portfolio of R&D work across our key national security sponsoring agencies, enhanced by the ideas developed through our strategic internal investments. We leverage partnerships with top-tier industry, other federal Labs, and universities to ensure we are working on the most challenging problems relevant to our missions, and to build the best teams.
- Market Transition: we deploy innovation for enhanced economic impact regionally and nationally. Our strongest national economic impacts come from collaborative R&D with the most innovative companies, when we develop breakthrough innovations in areas chosen for strategic impact. We will work toward a $4B USD region, where the Laboratory is a catalyst for diverse economic development that does not depend primarily on government support, and where the communities of Northern New Mexico are key partners in growth.
- Innovation Assets: we foster innovation through our stewardship of intellectual property (inventions and software), our ability to test and implement new business models for the US government to benefit from the rapid pace of commercial technology development, and our emphasis on business practices that are fast, fair, and transparent.
Taken together, these efforts will allow Los Alamos to continue to attract the most talented and dedicated staff with the drive and skills to keep the Laboratory at the leading edge of innovation for national security.
The Los Alamos Approach to Technology Innovation
Our approach to technology innovation is defined by a set of core principles:
- The US technology advantage in national security is tied to our ability to innovate. Government is no longer the primary driver of innovation in most technology areas.
- Innovation means the transition of new ideas into technology for an end use. The optimal means to achieve this is through strategic partnerships with industry.
- Los Alamos has a special responsibility as a national laboratory. Our role is to be a trusted adviser on technology development and policy implementation.
- We must compete to demonstrate innovation. Our leadership status is not guaranteed.
- Competence in creating valuable Intellectual Property is essential for innovation.
- The ability to move at the speed of business (fast, fair, valuable transactions driven by an innovation strategy) is required to compete in a modern R&D enterprise.
- Success in innovation results in equities for programs, inventors, the Laboratory, and the US taxpayer: the “permanent fund.”
- Our partners tell the most powerful stories about success in innovation, driving public awareness of the Laboratory, its people, and its programs.