|Property management specialist David Hubbard (l) and acting property chief Richard Trott (looking on) assist customers at the Gaithersburg Distribution Center.
The NIH property donation program has proven to be a success story. NIH donates myriad items from laptop and desktop computers to TVs, Blackberries, copiers and other assorted items including scientific equipment to more than 80 schools and universities. In FY 2008, NIH gave away more than 7,500 items representing an acquisition cost of over $13 million. Through the end of July 2009, NIH had donated some 7,072 items valued at over $10.6 million. That is an average of over $1 million of donated property per month.
Not everyone qualifies, however—only those organizations that meet the requirements of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 and Federal Executive Order 12999. The order, titled “Educational Technology: Ensuring Education for All Children in the Next Century,” allows computers and related equipment to be transferred directly from a federal agency to the educational institution. The order stipulates that federal agencies should play a larger role in education in America by making excess resources available to students and teachers.
At NIH, the donation program is coordinated by two industrial property management specialists within the Office of Acquisition and Logistics Management—David Hubbard and Hannah Stachmus. Their duties include fielding requests for participation from schools, universities and non-profit organizations (whose primary focus is education) and reviewing and approving requests of qualified applicants. They also maintain records of all donations that are made. The NIH program operates on Mondays and Wednesdays and is based at the Gaithersburg Distribution Center, site of NIH’s excess property warehouse.
An example of the NIH donation program’s success can be seen locally at Montgomery College’s Rockville campus. Their biology department has established a new laboratory with equipment from NIH that would have cost the college between $1 million and $2 million. Last fall, 18 students in Biology 230, a molecular cell biology course, got hands-on experience using the technology and equipment donated by NIH. With the high concentration of biotechnology companies in this area, this course will be an important addition to MC’s curriculum.
Want to find out more about the donation process at NIH? Give Hubbard or Stachmus a call at (301) 496-4366 or (301) 496-4180, respectively.—Richard Trott