Building Design Fosters Partnerships

By Nancy Parrish, Staff Writer
Two men standing in front of a building.

Standing in front of the visitors’ entrance at the Advanced Technology Research Facility are Craig Reynolds, NCI associate director (left), and Dave Heimbrook, SAIC-Frederick chief executive officer. Public–private partnerships will “advance science, technology, and drug development, which should directly benefit the patients living with cancer and AIDS,” Heimbrook said.

By Nancy Parrish, Staff Writer

The physical space of the Advanced Technology Research Facility (ATRF) is designed to encourage collaborations, both internal and external. Of the 330,000 square feet of space at the new facility, nearly 40,000 have been set aside for collaborations between the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNL) and outside partners in an arrangement that brings together scientists and specialists from government, industry, academia, and the nonprofit sectors in support of the research of NCI.

With dedicated laboratory and “think tank” space for collaborative work with partners across a continuum of technologies and platforms, the new facility is designed to foster partnerships that will help NCI accelerate the development of new concepts and research aimed at translating findings into diagnostics and therapies.

Partners will be able to co-locate at the ATRF and interact directly with FNL scientists, as well as gain access to the advanced technologies, the cGMP manufacturing capabilities, and the intellectual property and regulatory affairs specialists of the FNL, to achieve outcomes that are favorable to both the NCI mission and the partners’ needs. Such public–private partnerships represent the cornerstone of NCI’s mission to accelerate the delivery of new diagnostics and treatments to people living with cancer and AIDS.

Partnership Support Offices on Site

The ATRF also houses offices that support the development of partnerships with outside organizations and that manage the contractual agreements related to partnerships. The Partnership Development Office facilitates the creation of partnerships with outside organizations.  In addition, the NCI Technology Transfer Center and the SAIC-Frederick Intellectual Property Office work together to manage a variety of contractual agreements between collaborators regarding the exchange of materials and intellectual property, as well as technology transfer agreements, invention reporting, and patent applications.  

 “These partnerships will facilitate a closer working relationship between the best and brightest extramural scientists, NCI’s intramural researchers, and contract staff at the FNL, all working at a single location on a common mission,” said Craig Reynolds, Ph.D., associate director of the National Cancer Institute.