What is the Bayh-Dole Act?

The U.S. Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 allows universities and other non-profit institutions to elect ownership rights to discoveries resulting from federally funded research, provided certain obligations are met. These obligations include making efforts to protect (when appropriate) and commercialize the discoveries, submitting progress reports to the funding agency, giving preference to small businesses that demonstrate sufficient capability, and sharing any resulting revenues with the inventors. The Bayh-Dole Act is credited with stimulating interest in tech transfer activities and generating increasing research, commercialization, educational opportunities and economic development.