“Cutting-Edge R&D at Your Fingertips”

Like a peek at emerging technologies? The National Technology Transfer Center (NTTC) has created a database that tracks and monitors federally funded R&D activity at universities around the country. Entrepreneurs can tap this one-of-a-kind database for high-tech information on computer manufacturing and biotech concerns, detailing patents and data on technologies that are ready to be commercialized.

The data itself is free. There’s an annual subscription fee of $100 per month or $1,000 per year, which gives you unlimited Internet access to all NTTC developed databases (it also tracks federal R&D activities in more than 700 laboratories).

Or you can hire a "tech scout" for $100 an hour; their turnaround time usually runs two to three hours. Visit www.nttc.edu or call (800) 678-6882.

Writer: Kimberly Stanséll is a Los Angeles-based businesswoman and author of "Bootstrapper’s Success Secrets: 151 Tactics for Building Your Business on a Shoestring Budget," (Career Press).