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					                  Demand Pull Program Model
                    RERC on Technology Transfer

[Slide 1]

Objectives [Slide 2]

•Introduce Technology Transfer
•Introduce a Formal Model for Technology Transfer
•Introduce Supply Push Tech Transfer
•Explore Demand Pull Technology Transfer in Depth
•Introduce the Role of Technology Transfer Organizations
•Technology Transfer Examples

What is Technology Transfer? [Slide 3]

An existing “technology” (anything from a concept to a proof of concept
prototype) is brought into an industry segment from a technology developer (e.g.
a manufacturer from outside the industry segment; a university; a federal
laboratory) and utilized in new product applications.

Technology Transfer Organizations help to overcome the barriers that prevent a
manufacturer from transferring a technology through their own efforts or
employing their own resources.

Technology transfer always has a tangible outcome – a new or improved
product. Many technology transfer organizations count patents or research
paper publications as indicators of their technology transfer efforts. Such
indicators may be problematic.

What is Not Technology Transfer? [Slide 4]

Sometimes technology transfer is defined to include such things as publishing
academic research papers or patenting technologies. A link can be established
from many research papers to products or technologies that eventually appear in
the marketplace. The vast majority of research papers however will have no
tangible link with any marketed technology or product.

Many products incorporate patented or copyrighted technology. In practice
however, only a few percent of patented and copyrighted ideas and technologies
ever appear in marketed products. For this reason, “counting patents” is a very
poor measure of research effectiveness.

Product line extension (selling the same product in a new market) is a marketing
strategy - not technology transfer.

What Is Meant by “Technology?” [Slide 5]

„Technology‟ can include anything from a theoretical concept that enables new
product development to systems or components developed for products in
one market that are incorporated into new products for a new market.

We will see in later slides that technology transfer is associated with „innovation‟
(technology breakthroughs, episodic, dramatic) rather than „continuous
refinement‟ (incremental improvement of products, continuous, almost

How Do Manufacturers Obtain or Develop New Technology? [Slide

What research and development options will manufacturers consider
before turning to technology transfer?

•Internal R&D capabilities and financial resources
•Internal R&D capabilities supplemented by SBIR funding
•Sub-contracts with other manufacturers or consultants
•Partnerships with Federal Labs or Universities
•Setting up incubators (recruiting researchers, set up facilities, provide support
staff and finances, etc)
•External technology submissions – this is where Technology Transfer
Organizations often act

Examples of Technology Transfer Organizations [Slide 7]

The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC)
The FLC was organized in 1974 and formally chartered by the Federal
Technology Transfer Act of 1986 to promote and to strengthen technology
transfer nationwide. Today, more than 700 major federal laboratories and centers
and their parent departments and agencies are FLC members. The vision of the
FLC is to actively promote the fullest application and use of federal research and
development by providing an environment for successful technology transfer.
The Consortium will be the recognized leader in maximizing collaborative
research and the transfer of federal technologies to enhance the socioeconomic
well-being of the nation in the global marketplace. FLC strategies include:
•Creating innovative partnerships
•Influencing technology policy
•Optimizing diverse resources
•Strengthening the FLC structure
•Leading the vision

•Projecting a positive and consistent image

University Technology Transfer Offices (
AUTM® is a nonprofit association with membership of more than 2,300
technology managers and business executives who manage intellectual
property-one of the most active growth sectors of the U.S. economy. AUTM's
members represent over 300 universities, research institutions, teaching
hospitals and a similar number of companies and government organizations.
Universities transfer technology to:
•Facilitate the commercialization of research results for the public good •Reward,
retain, and recruit faculty
•Induce closer ties to industry
•Generate income and promote economic growth

Federal Small Business Innovation Research Programs (SBIR)
SBIR presentation
National Science Foundation
National Institutes of Health
•Stimulate technological innovation
•Involve small business in meeting Federal R&D mission
•Foster and encourage participation by minority and disadvantaged persons in
technological innovation
•Increase private sector commercialization of innovations
•Phase I: establish Concept Feasibility (federal investment, 6 mo., 100,000)
•Phase II: Concept refinement (federal investment, 24 mo., 750,000)
•Phase III: Commercial market (private sector capital sought)
•Few percent of NSF, NIH, NASA, … budget dollars committed to SBIR
•Total federal investment in SBIR & STTR: 1 Billion$
•Small Business: < 500 employees

Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Research and Development
Technology Transfer Program (

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Communication
Enhancement/Tech Watch Program (
The purpose of this project is to establish and conduct an ongoing coordinated
program that monitors and actively seeks out technological developments in both
commercial form as well as pre-release development stages that can impact the
engineering (and indirectly the clinical) aspects of the AAC field. The Tech
Watch Project in its first year of operation has been vigorously pursuing the
NIDRR directive to explore research and development activities within the
Federal Laboratories Consortium as a way to locate appropriate leading edge
technologies for the field of AAC.

Research Triangle Institute (
Research Triangle Institute is dedicated to improving the human condition
through multidisciplinary research, development, and technical services that
meet the highest standards of professional performance. RTI is an independent
organization dedicated to conducting innovative, multidisciplinary research that
improves the human condition. With a worldwide staff of more than 1,900 people,
RTI is active in health and medicine, environmental protection, technology
commercialization, education, and decision support systems. Universities in
North Carolina founded RTI in 1958 as the first scientific organization in and
centerpiece of the Research Triangle Park.

Ontario Rehabilitation Technology Consortium
The Ontario Rehabilitation Technology Consortium is dedicated to the research
and development of assistive technologies and commercializes products where

possible in order to support and sustain further research and development.
Goals include:
• Identify unmet needs for rehabilitation technology and assistive devices to
improve quality of life while maintaining the dignity and enhancing the
independence of device users.
• Undertake research to investigate the design, safety, effectiveness, reliability,
suitability and appropriate use of rehabilitation technology.
• Undertake development and facilitate commercialization of useful new products
or services.
• Develop effective processes of technology transfer to ensure that useful
products reach consumers.
• Promote, through partnerships, Ontario industry in the field of assistive devices.

Technology Transfer Model: Activities [Slide 8]

A technology transfer model must account for a broad range of Activities

•theoretical research
•experimental research
•applied research and development, product design, production engineering,
 product refinement
•marketing, distribution, sales, service, etc.

Some of these activities will be highly visible and public.
Other of these activities will be unnoticed or actively hidden.

Technology Transfer Model: Stakeholders [Slide 9]

Technology transfer involves many Stakeholders

Clearly the manufacturer and consumer should have some place in a technology
transfer model. So too, should all of the upstream stakeholders that constructed
theory, ran experiments, built prototypes, etc.

•mathematicians, physicists…
•applied scientists, engineers…
•business leaders, designers, fabricators, marketers, salespersons…
•service technicians, primary and secondary consumers…
•resource providers…

Technology Transfer Model: Critical Events [Slide 10]

A technology transfer model should be punctuated by Critical Events

Critical events can be linked to major transitions in activity or the stakeholders
„taking ownership‟ of the technology. For example once commercialized, the
product customer „owns‟ the technology; when the prototype is being transformed
into a commercial product, the manufacturer „owns‟ the technology.

Critical events:
•Development of a fundamental law or theory…
•A radical idea - transforming theory to practice…
•The first working prototype…
•A new product entry into the marketplace…
•Product obsolescence…
T2RERC Technology Transfer Model [Slide 11]

Joseph Lane, Director of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on
Technology Transfer developed a Technology Transfer Model that visually orders

and captures the relationships among activities, stakeholders and critical

As an introduction to this model, each colored area of the diagram has a
stakeholder group and an activity. From left to right (stakeholder groups) and
[activities] for the four colored regions are:

•(TA=Technology Applications); [TP=Technology Producers]
•(TRD=Technology Research and Development); [TC=Technology Consumers]
•(PRD=Product Research and Development); [PP=Product Producers]
•(PC=Product Commercialization); [Product Consumers]

Adjacent regions of activity are separated by critical events. From left to right,
these events are:

•The Idea (Aha! I know how to turn Theory into Practice!)
•The Prototype (Aha! „Proof of Concept‟ - Theory IS turned into Practice)
•The Product (Aha! I‟m in the marketplace making money)

The general progression of activities is from abstract, rarified theory („Albert
Einstein‟) to concrete, everyday applications („Sears and Roebuck‟)

You‟ll also notice that some portions of the diagrams are above the horizontal
mid-line and other activities are below the horizontal mid-line. Activities above
the horizontal mid-line are “visible.” For instance, Technology Research and
Development may be written up in NASA Tech Briefs for everyone to read.
Commercial products are necessarily visible. Technology Applications may be
visible – but not many people know about or understand these activities. Product
R&D is deliberately hidden from public view as part of a manufacturers business

This model (like many other models) involves unfamiliar terminology. In the next
several slides, this terminology will be „explained‟ through practical examples.

Technology Applications (TA) Technology Producers [TP] [Slide 12]

Technology Applications Activity (TA)
(Critical Event=Idea [How to Apply Fundamental Laws and Theories])

•Who Does the Work: scientists conducting basic research, theoreticians
•Where: (Technology Producers) private and federal labs, universities, industry …
•What: transform “THEORIES and LAWS” into “IDEAS” for practical application
       physics (theory of electromagnetism)
       physics and chemistry (theory of semi-conducting materials)
       physical chemistry (laws of thermodynamics)
       physical and inorganic chemistry (theory of polymerization reactions)
       neurobiology (theory of neurotransmitters)

Technology R&D (TRD) Technology Consumers [TC] [Slide 13]

“Technology R&D Activity” (TRD)(Critical Event=Prototype [Proof of Concept])

•Who: (Technology Consumers) applied researchers
•Where: industry, private and federal labs, universities, private inventors, …
•What: Transform “IDEAS” into “PROOF-OF-CONCEPT” prototypes
   first time electricity is passed through a coil to produce a magnetic field
   light trapped between mirrors produces first functioning laser
   the first working transistor (semi-conductors)

   the first working internal combustion engine (thermodynamics)
   the first lab synthesis of nylon (polymerization)
   the first lab synthesis of GABA - gamma amino butyric acid

Product R&D (PRD) Product Producers [PP] [Slide 14]

Product Research & Development (PRD)(Critical Event=Product)

•Who: (Product Producers) developers, engineers, designers, fabricators,
 assemblers, …
•Where: industry
•What: Transform “PROOF-OF-CONCEPT” into “Marketed Product”
      introduction of durable, reliable, low cost, safe, ... light bulbs
      introduction of electric motors and electric generator prototypes
      introduction of laser pointers and CD ROM drive
      introduction of the automobile
      introduction of personal computers
      introduction of commercially available synthetic Gamma Amino Butyric
        Acid (GABA)

Product Commercialization (PC) Product Consumers [PC] [Slide 15]

Product Commercialization Activity (PC)(Critical Event=Commercialized

•Who: production engineers, assemblers, technicians, fabricators, sales
 managers, service technicians, ...
•Where: (Product Consumers)
•What: manufacture, distribution, sales, support, purchase, product obsolescence

       GE light bulbs sold at CVS (light bulb)
       Black&Decker power tools sold and serviced by Sears (electric motor)
       CD ROMs incorporated into computer products (lasers)
       Model A Ford marketed to the world (automobile)
       IBM and Apple Computers marketed to the world (computer)
       nylon windbreakers sold through LL Bean (nylon clothe)
       treatment for persons with Parkinson‟s disease available (GABA)

Product Maturation and Obsolescence [Slide 16]

This slide expands upon or elaborates the Product Commercialization activities
to show typical product lifecycle suggesting such things as marketing,
advertisement, product line extension, product refinement, introduction of
competing products, loss of market share and obsolescence.

Innovation and Refinement [Slide 17]

Published literature often discusses the differences between „Innovation‟ versus
„Product Refinement‟ [See for instance Clifford M. Gross, “The Right Fit: The
Power of Ergonomics as a Competitive Strategy,” Productivity Press, Chapter 1,
1996]. It turns out that Innovation takes place in the two leftmost activity regions
of the model and Refinement takes place in the two rightmost activity regions of
the model.

Innovation generally takes place during the first two steps of our technology
transfer model: Technology Applications (theory becomes and idea) and
Technology Research and Development (idea embodied as a proof of concept).
Innovation involves dramatic breakthroughs, championed by key individuals.
Innovation occurs at irregular time intervals and often leads to the overthrow or
replacement of accepted theory or establishes a new state-of-the-art for a

technology. Innovation is driven by intellectual insight or the need for
technological proof of concept. Innovation is analogous to winning a lottery

[Quality] Refinement (QR) generally takes place during the last two steps of our
technology transfer model: Product Research and Development (proof of concept
becomes product) and Product Commercialization (product manufactured and
sold). QR is not dramatic and generally relies upon the support and contributions
of many people. QR occurs at a slow, steady, continuous pace and improves the
accepted theory and state-of-the-practice for a technology. QR is often driven by
the needs of people or the opportunities of markets. QR is analogous to interest
returned on regular bank savings.

„Types‟ of Technology Transfer [Slide 18]

Supply push – technology is developed prior to identifying market needs (for
products). Supply push activities are analogous to the BBs coming out of the
barrel of a shotgun. There are lots of BBs („technologies‟) and lots of small
targets (market demand for products). Most of the BBs (technologies) miss most
of the targets (no market demand). On the other hand, technology is a natural
by-product of a broad range of theoretical and applied research activities taking
place in universities, federal labs and some private industry based settings.

Demand pull – market needs (for products) are identified prior to seeking a
technology solution. Most manufacturers do conduct market research prior to
investing in product development activities. Many „inventors‟ attempt to conduct
market research before working on their „invention.‟ Most „inventors‟ lack the
training or resources to complete market research. For this reason, most
inventors are really in a supply push activity – finding a market after they have
developed the technology.

Supply Push [Slide 19]

In a supply-push process, the „technology‟ (technology being somewhere
between „theory‟ and „prototype‟) is „developed‟ prior to identifying product
applications (or perhaps additional product applications) and markets for these
product applications.

The question marks suggest the process of looking for product applications and
markets for a technology already in hand. Even if there are good markets and
product applications for the technology, there are many barriers that may prevent
the technology from ever reaching the market.

Supply Push: Success [Slide 20]

In this example, laser diodes have many visible and successful applications (e.g.
laser pointers, security systems, CD players, etc). Once low power, low cost
laser diodes were perfected many product applications and business
opportunities were (and still are) identified.

Supply Push: Failure [Slide 21]

In practice, few „technologies‟ developed prior to identifying market demand ever
become products… To illustrate this point, only a few percent of patents
technologies are ever incorporated into products. Why?

•Insufficient market potential to justify transforming the technology into a product
•Not feasible (high cost, high-end R&D capabilities needed, etc) to develop or
 obtain technology
•Good products are already in the marketplace
•The „new technology‟ isn‟t patented or copyrighted
•Worse – the „new technology‟ isn‟t patented and infringes on an existing patent

•The technology developer has no idea how to identify a good (candidate)
 manufacturing partner
•The technology developer has no idea how to prepare for and court the
 candidate manufacturer once they have been identified

…and so forth…

Training Module 2 discusses “Supply Push Technology Transfer” in detail.

Demand Pull [Slide 22]

In this slide, demand driven product development is sketched onto the
Technology Transfer Model.

The dashed line suggests the transfer of a technology concept. The solid line
suggests the transfer of a technology that has already undergone significant
research and development. In general:

•There is a higher cost transferring a technology concept than a technology
•You should look for technology concepts in research settings such as research
 universities, and federal and industry labs conducting basic research.
•You should look for technology „prototypes‟ in other industry segments and
 federal and industry labs conducting applied research.
•SBIR Programs will be much more effective (in terms of successful transfers)
 supporting the low cost path (solid line) technology transfer path.

Demand Pull Product Development [Slide 23]

This slide illustrates the paths manufacturers can take developing new products
driven by market demand. The inner path illustrates the manufacturer relying

upon their own internal R&D and financial resources. The middle path illustrates
the manufacturer seeking a technology in which R&D has been invested by a
Technology Consumer. This „prototype‟ could be a technology developed for
another industry segment and which requires little additional cost to address the
application needs of the manufacturer. These cross-industry technology
transfers are highly desirable. The outer path illustrates the manufacturer
seeking a technology concept. It is expected that transferring a technology
concept will have a higher cost than transferring a technology „prototype.‟

T2RERC Demand Pull Technology Transfer Program [Slide 24]

These two statements provide a (somewhat rephrased in terms of the
Technology Transfer Model) summary of the T 2RERC mission. The T2RERC
Demand Pull Program and Supply Push Program (Training Module #3) are two
approaches being taken to achieve this mission.

Transfer of emerging technologies, R&D capabilities, or design expertise from
Technology Developers (Federal Labs, advanced technology manufacturers, and
researchers) to Technology Consumers (assistive technology manufacturers).

Improve the variety, quality and choice of products available to Product
Customers (persons with disabilities, caregivers, clinicians, etc) through a
Demand Pull technology transfer process.

The T2RERC Demand Pull Technology Transfer Program [Slide 25]
Many activities are performed under the demand pull program including:

•Identifying of market needs - a manufacturer may not be aware that a market
need is unfilled that requires a technology solution (demand-pull scenario)

•Identifying business opportunities - a manufacturer may not be aware of the
business potential represented by a technology (supply-push scenario)

•Locating technology solutions – a manufacturer may not be able to locate,
develop or obtain a technology solution through its „own means‟ (E.g. internal
R&D capabilities and financial resources; internal R&D capabilities supplemented
by SBIR funding; sub-contracts with other manufacturers or consultants;
partnerships with Federal Labs or universities; setting up incubators [recruiting
researchers, set up facilities, provide support staff and finances, etc] at a
reasonable cost in a reasonable timeframe.

•Overcoming institutional barriers – once a technology solution is identified,
gaining access to this technology may still be difficult. For instance, technology
that is developed in US research universities is the property of these universities.
Accessing this technology requires negotiating a license agreement with a
university Technology Transfer Office. Before the license agreement is
negotiated the TTO generally seeks a patent for the technology (a 1 or 2 year
proposition) and establishes the market potential for the technology.

•Identifying a target manufacturer – a technology developed at a university or
Federal Lab, or by an independent inventor may have good market potential. In
order to transfer this technology it is necessary to identify the potential markets
for this technology and the manufacturers serving this market.

•Developing a commercialization package or business plan – manufacturers
need information in order to render a favorable decision to „accept‟ a technology.
Lacking this information a manufacturer usually takes a conservative position and
rejects the technology. A commercialization package provides information that
might include: market size, segmentation, products, unmet needs, business
opportunities, laws and regulations, reimbursement, product benchmarking

information, concept and technical drawings, patents, bench test and clinical trial
results, and a commercialization strategy.

•Protecting business plans – most manufacturers wish to keep their business
plans as private as possible. This is very reasonable - public disclosure of
business plans (target markets, new product introductions, product refinements,
etc) would give their competitors a market advantage. The technology transfer
organization serves as a confidential agent - identifying technology sources
without revealing the manufacturing client being represented. Only when a
„qualified‟ technology source has been identified is the manufacturer brought into
the picture.

•Brokering Transfer of Technology Solutions – There are many mechanisms
by which technology can be transferred: exclusive or non-exclusive license
agreement, R&D agreement, supplier, cooperative research and development
agreement (CRADA) etc.

When Can a Technology Be Transferred to a Manufacturer? [Slide

It is always important to identify the minimal conditions under which a
technology transfer is likely to occur.

•Unmet customer needs - Addressing need would have a significant impact on
customer – that is, the need is important

•Significant business opportunity – Reasonable market, no or „poor‟
competing products

•High cost for manufacturer to develop or acquire technology solution
through their own means - Significant research and development effort

required – High financial cost, long time-frames to develop technology,
sophisticated R&D capabilities, sophisticated technical expertise, etc

•Product application is consistent with manufacturer‟s business plan - Fits
product line, fits business plan, introduced to manufacturer at right time in the
manufacturers business cycle

Where Does the Technology Come From? [Slide 27]

Common sources for “transferable technology” include manufacturers in
another industry segments, federal laboratories, research universities and
independent inventor.
Research Universities may be more focused on theoretical and basic research –
a long way (in time and cost) from a product application.

Cross-Industry Transfers - The fastest and best technology transfers often
come from manufacturers in other industry segments. Technology incorporated
into a product for one market probably is likely to require a „large‟ investment
before it is ready for a product application in another market.

The T2RERC Demand Pull Program [Slide 28]

The T2RERC Demand Pull Program utilizes a five-step process:

1.Select Industry Segment
2.Identify Market Needs and Business Opportunities
3.Identify Technology Needs
4.Locate Technology Solutions
5.Broker Transfer of Technology Solutions

These steps can be mapped onto the Technology Transfer Model. In the next
several slides, we will illustrate the kind of activities performed under the T 2RERC
Demand Pull Program associated with these steps.

A useful exercise for any technology transfer organization would be to map their
activities against this (or similar) technology transfer models. Such a mapping
may suggest where they have invested too much effort and perhaps where they
need to invest more effort. In addition, technology transfer organizations may
choose to focus their effort and resources on only a portion of the technology
transfer path. These technology transfer organizations may seek partner
organizations to facilitate transfer activities that they themselves do not support.

(1) Select Industry Segment [Slide 29]

Step #1: Select Industry Segment

Each year from 1998 – 2000 the T2RERC ran a “Demand Pull Project”

For each Project the T2RERC had an „expert partner‟

•Manual and power wheelchairs and scooters (inception 10/98, Partner: RERC on Wheeled Mobility;
University at Pittsburgh, PA

•Hearing aid and assistive listening systems (inception 10/99, Partner: RERC on Hearing Enhancement;
Lexington Center, Queens, NY

•Augmentative communication (inception 10/00,
Partner: RERC on Communication Enhancement; Duke, U. Buffalo, Penn State,

The T2RERC also sub-contracted with local experts in wheeled mobility,
audiology and augmentative communication to provide technical support for each

(2) Identify Consumer Needs and Business Opportunities [Slide 30]

Step #2: Identify Technology Needs
Selection of specific technology needs relies upon the triangulation of
information obtained from product end-users, technical and clinical experts and
manufacturers. Consumer panels are utilized to obtain end-user information.
Interviews are utilized to obtain information from technical experts, clinical
experts and manufacturers. The T2RERC works with interviewees to protect
intellectual property and business interests.

„Expert‟ Interviews
•7-10 manufacturers; 7-10 clinical/technical experts
•Protecting propriety and confidential information
•Securing interest and commitment

Consumer Panels
•Face-to-face groups (careful sampling, moderated groups, extensive
background research and script prparation)
•On-line groups (careful sampling, Internet-based, interactive groups and

Module #4 “Primary Market Research” provides an excellent introduction to
sampling, focus group and survey methodology.

An industry specific profile is developed to compliment and expand upon the
information derived from the interviews and panels. The industry profile
•Market size, segmentation, etc
•Market analysis, business opportunities, etc
•Manufacturers, product lines, resources, contact information, etc
•Laws, regulations, reimbursement, distribution channels, etc
•Trade shows, conferences, industry associations, etc

(3) Validate Technology Needs [Slide 31]

Step #3: Validate Technology Needs
Information from the expert interviews, consumer panels and industry profile is
used to identify significant market demands, business opportunities and product
applications. In addition, product applications must be costly – otherwise,
manufacturers will utilize their own finances, R&D resources and collaborative
partnerships to develop or obtain the technology rather than seeking to transfer
the technology.

A white paper is written for each distinct area of technology need. A white paper
includes information on unmet customer needs; market information; business
opportunities; and technology state-of-the-practice for products now in the

A stakeholder forum is convened to provide additional focus and detail for the
technology needs identified. Forum participants include: market, research and
technical experts; advanced technology developers from related industry
segments; product customers (e.g. end-users, clinicians, therapists, equipment
vendors and service technicians); and private and public resource providers (e.g.
representatives from federal agencies and national associations). Prior to the
Forum, all participants receive an industry overview and "white papers" that

provide market and technical background on the technology areas to be
discussed. The purpose of the Forum is to:

•Validate that significant customer needs not addressed by current technology.
•Validate that the unmet customer needs represent a significant business
•Validate that significant technical innovation is required to meet these customer
•Validate that this technical innovation cannot easily take place within the
industry segment.
•Establish design and performance targets for the technical innovation.
•Identify barriers that might prevent the successful development or transfer of the
technical innovation.

(4) Locate Technology Solutions [Slide 32]

Step #4: Locate Technology Solutions
Stakeholder Forum outcomes and all prior work is used to generate problem
statements that summarize customer needs, business opportunities, and
technical needs and specifications. These problem statements are disseminated
to Federal Laboratories, advanced technology manufacturers, research
institutions and other technology developers. Proposed technology solutions are
received in hard copy or through the web site. Initially, all submitted solutions are

Proposed technology solutions are reviewed by technical and industry experts to
confirm that these solutions address the needs and are technically feasible. All
technology solution proposals are available to the T 2RERC and the partner
RERC. Following the initial review, proprietary information may be requested
from the technology developer. In such cases, protection of intellectual property
is worked out between the technology developer and the T 2RERC.

Dissemination [Slide 33]

NASA Technical Briefs: Readers Forum [Slide 34]

(5) Broker Transfer of Technology Solutions [Slide 35]

Step #5: Transfer the Technology Solution

The T2RERC, prepares a commercialization package that summarizes the end-
user needs being met, market opportunity, problem statement, technical
solutions, and the business plan for transferring the technology solution. A
marketing plan is developed by which to contact and present the
commercialization package to manufacturers.

The transfer of technology is completed through various mechanisms including:
exclusive or non-exclusive license agreements between a technology developer
and the manufacturer; cooperative research and development agreement
(CRADA) between a federal lab and a manufacturer; joint research and
development agreements etc.

Research Opportunities [Slide 36]

Evaluate effectiveness of passive dissemination channels
      Channel: NASA Tech Briefs, FLC Locator Service, University Technology
      Transfer Offices, …
      Metrics: web site „hits‟ generated, quality proposals received, number of
      technologies transferred, percent of technologies transferred, …
Evaluate richness of technology sources
      Source: Federal labs, advanced technology manufacturers, universities,
      independent inventors, …

       Metrics: Quality proposals received, number of technologies transferred
       from source, percent of technologies transferred from source
Program evaluation
       Case studies
       Establish best practices
       Timeframes, loading, efficiency, effectiveness, …

Loading Diagram: Demand Pull Project on Wheeled Mobility [Slide

The effort associated with each of the five steps have been tracked by the
T2RERC over several years in order to identify where effort is being concentrated
and technology transfer „failures‟ taking place. This type of information allows us
to focus our resources more effectively and refine our best practices.

Keys to Success [Slide 38]

A technology transfer organization (TTO) must build and maintain its network
of contacts to manufacturers, researchers, funding, dissemination, … This
network provides efficient access to information, services, funding and other
commodities that the manufacturer cannot obtain efficiently through their own

A TTO must build and maintain a reputation for honesty, good work, timely
delivery of services, etc When a TTO first contacts a „client‟ their reputation
may be all that keeps their client „on the phone‟.

The TTO must service the needs of their clients. In order to do so they must
build internal capabilities or be able to quickly access the capabilities of sub-
contractors and consultants. In technology transfer these services might include
focus groups, secondary market research, product planning and design,

prototype fabrication, media presentations, video conferencing, technical
analysis, …

Your TTO team must of course be well managed with adequate staffing.
Beyond that however, a TTO can only provide service to a client if they can
quickly understand their needs. In order to do this they must be able to “speak
their language” – knowledge is valuable, experience is even more valuable.

It generally isn‟t possible to maintain a comprehensive stable of experts.
For that reason it is often useful to extend your knowledge and capabilities
through the use of consultants.

Put yourself in „their‟ place
•Identify benefits - why should „they‟ want to work with you…
•Identify barriers - why should „they‟ not want to work with you.

Maintain a presence – don‟t turn the technology transfer process over to a
Technology Developer or target manufacturer until you are sure the transfer is
complete. The role of the Technology Transfer Organization is to reduce or
remove barriers to the transfer of technology. The TTO is unable to intervene
when these barriers come up unless it is actively engaged in the transfer

Always provide benefits – manufacturers are busy and have many immediate
concerns. They can‟t afford to waste their time. Whenever you engage a
manufacturer, there should be a clear purpose to the contact and clear benefits
to the manufacturer. A manufacturer should look forward to your call because
every time you speak with them – „good things happen.”

Go over, under, around, or through barriers… - don‟t accept that a barrier is a
dead end to the transfer. It is often good news when a manufacturer points out

the problems blocking the successful transfer of a technology to them. The TTO
can use this information to come up with a plan to reduce or eliminate these


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Description: Publishing Industry Market Briefs document sample