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NASA to promote technology transfer program with William & Mary

09/24/2014 | by NASA

NASA's oldest aeronautics research laboratory and Virginia's oldest college are working together to launch spinoff technology into the future.

NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and the Raymond A. Mason School of Business and the Alan B. Miller Entrepreneurship Center at the College of William & Mary in nearby Williamsburg, Virginia are partnering to obtain business and commercialization studies for NASA-developed technologies.

William & Mary school students will examine the technologies available for licensing to determine which ones have the most promising commercial or partnership potential.

By law, federal agencies are required to have a technology transfer program to promote commercial activity, economic growth and innovation in business and commerce. The hope is that the William & Mary partnership will accelerate NASA Langley's technology transfer program.

"This is the first time that NASA Langley has partnered with a college or university to do this type of study," said Kathy Dezern, the Office of Innovation Lead for the NASA Langley Office of Strategic Analysis, Communications, & Business Development. "We're looking forward to the assessments from the William & Mary students that will further NASA's technology developments, commercialization opportunities and future partnerships."

The first step under the non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement for NASA and William & Mary will be to identify the technologies to be studied by Sept. 30, 2014.

"This partnership with NASA will allow our students to participate in a real world, 'hands on' practical business experience," said Richard Ash, William & Mary Banks Professor of Private Equity and Entrepreneurship.

"Enhancing the educational process in this way will provide our Mason School of Business students with an expanded opportunity to advance their interest in further studies in science, technology and commercialization," Ash said. "At the same time, the students will gain valuable experience that will serve to sharpen their team and leadership abilities – all skills which will be useful in their future careers."

NASA actively seeks partnerships with U.S. companies that can license agency technologies in health and medicine, consumer goods, transportation, renewable energy, and manufacturing. NASA's centers across the country – including Langley – have helped 174 Virginia companies develop revolutionary spinoff technologies.

NASA's Technology Transfer Program, managed by the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA Headquarters in Washington, ensures technologies developed for exploration and discovery missions are broadly available to the public.

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