June 23, 2012, 7:10 AM — Looking to address harsh criticism from its own inspector general that has been painfully slow in getting important technologies out of the lab and into commercial applications, NASA today said it has opened a revamped Technology Transfer Portal which aims to streamline the way the space agency handles that business.
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Not unlike its efforts of the past, NASA said the new tech portal simplifies and speeds access to the agency's intellectual property portfolio, much of which is available for licensing. The site features a searchable, categorized database of NASA's patents, a module for reaching out to a NASA technology transfer specialist and articles about past successful commercialization of NASA technology. Historical and real-time data for NASA's technology transfer program also are available.
"One of NASA's highest priority goals is to streamline its technology transfer procedures, support additional government-industry collaboration and encourage the commercialization of novel technologies flowing from our federal laboratories," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a statement. "One way NASA can streamline and increase the rate of aerospace technology transfer is through tools like NASA's Technology Transfer Portal."
Examples of the types of technologies NASA has licensed in the past include devices designed to operate remotely and with limited servicing in the harsh environment of space, and strong and lightweight materials that can withstand the extreme temperatures of supersonic flight or space travel. NASA has designed lifesaving techniques, protocols, and tools for use when orbiting the Earth and the nearest doctor is more than 200 miles below. Closed environment recycling systems, as well as energy generation and storage methods also have useful applications here on Earth.