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NPR 7500.2
Effective Date: December 19, 2014
Expiration Date: December 19, 2020
Printable Format (PDF)

(NASA Only)

Subject: NASA Technology Transfer Requirements

Responsible Office: Space Technology Mission Directorate

| TOC | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | Chapter8 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | ALL |

Chapter 1: Technology Transfer Overview

1.1 National Perspective

1.1.1 The benefits of NASA technology are all around us: Knowledge provided by weather and navigational spacecraft; millions of passengers and packages traveling safely by air every day; efficiency in ground and air transportation; super computers; solar- and wind-generated energy; the cameras in many cell phones; biomedical technologies such as advanced imaging and infant formula; and the protective gear that keeps our military, firefighters, and police safe have all benefitted from the Nation's investments in aerospace technology.

1.1.2 The United States Government makes efforts to ensure that these benefits from federally funded technologies continue to improve the lives of U.S. citizens. This is accomplished, in part, through the process of transferring the federally funded technologies to the private sector. Multiple executive orders and laws support and guide the means by which technology transfer occurs.

1.1.3 This directive is, in part, NASA's method of ensuring that its activities are conducted within the multitude of requirements set forth in the various executive orders and laws pertaining to technology transfer.

1.1.4 A key tenet of the national emphasis on technology transfer is collaboration. Executive Order 12591 states: "The head of each Executive Department and Agency, to the extent permitted by law, shall encourage and facilitate collaboration among Federal laboratories, State and local Governments, universities, and the private sector, particularly small business, in order to assist in the transfer of technology to the marketplace." It is understood that technology transfer occurs through partnerships, collaboration, and sharing of information. Technology transfer, therefore, is not the responsibility of only one office at NASA; rather, it is an activity in which all NASA personnel could and should participate.

1.1.5 This sentiment is echoed in foundational technology transfer legislation. As set forth in the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, 15 U.S.C. § 3710 a.1-a.3, "it is the continuing responsibility of the Federal Government to ensure the full use of the results of the Nation's Federal investment in research and development." To this end the Federal Government shall strive where appropriate to transfer federally owned or originated technology to State and local Governments and to the private sector. Furthermore, technology transfer, consistent with mission responsibilities, is a responsibility of "each laboratory science and engineering professional, and each laboratory director shall ensure that efforts to transfer technology are considered positively in laboratory job descriptions, employee promotion policies, and evaluation of the job performance of scientists and engineers in the laboratory."

1.1.6 The Nation benefits from technology transfer, and it is NASA's charge to ensure that it is strategically positioned, building upon a legacy of transferring space and aeronautics technologies for public benefit.

1.2 NASA Perspective

1.2.1 NASA technology transfer is focused on creating benefits for society through transferring the Agency's inventions and innovative knowledge to outside organizations. This focus is consistent with NASA's fundamental statutory direction as expressed in the National Aeronautics and Space Act, 51 USC 20101, to preserve "the role of the United States as a leader in aeronautical and space science and technology" and encouraging "the fullest commercial use of space" by providing for the "widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information concerning its activities and the results thereof."

1.2.2 NASA encourages and enables the widest possible utilization of NASA technological assets by public and private sectors of the United States to benefit the national economy and the U.S. public.

1.2.3 Technological assets are the broad category of resources that include technologies, inventions, innovations, technical data, and technical expertise.

1.2.4 The term "invention" describes a new, useful process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or improvement thereof, that is a new technology deemed legally to be novel and non-obvious to others skilled in the same field and meets the requirements for patentability under all patent statutes, and that is recognized as the result of some unique idea or conception in the form of a process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter or product derived from ordinary skill, knowledge or craftsmanship.

1.2.5 The term "innovation" is broader than invention and will be used to describe every technology, invention, and discovery whether or not patentable, made in the performance of NASA work (e.g., work by NASA employees and/or work funded by NASA). This includes, but is not limited to, new processes, machines, manufactures, and compositions of matter, and improvements to, or new applications of, existing processes, machines, manufactures, and compositions of matter. This also includes new computer programs, and improvements to, or new applications of, existing computer programs, whether or not copyrightable

1.2.6 A significant portion of this directive is devoted to the reporting and collection of new innovations--often the key technologies that become the building blocks of a strong technology transfer process.

1.2.7 All NASA activities involving existing or future technological assets could potentially be involved in the technology transfer process. The process' end objective for each activity is the same--that of maximizing each activity's commercial impact.

1.2.8 Technology transfer can happen in a variety of ways, sometimes broadly and informally through the publishing of information, and other times more formally, through partnerships or the licensing of intellectual property.

1.2.9 All of NASA's technology activities are conducted in accordance with NPD 2190.1 NASA Export Control Program.

1.3 The technology transfer activities conducted by NASA are intended to facilitate domestic utilization of NASA-developed technologies by the public and private sectors of the U.S. economy. Consequently, NASA generally does not provide NASA technology information material to foreign entities; however, special situations or circumstances may arise that would allow information to be released in this manner. General inquiries and specific requests for NASA-developed technologies from foreign entities will be handled and documented in accordance with this policy.

| TOC | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | Chapter8 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | ALL |
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