Starting this month, startups will be able to obtain patents from NASA with no money down and no interest payments for the first three years. “The program waives upfront fees and provides a streamlined process for applying for a license. It is an outgrowth of NASA’s compliance with a memorandum issued by President Obama in October 2011 to accelerate and increase the success of transfer of technology from government agencies to the commercial sector, according to Dan Lockney, NASA’s technology transfer program executive.” (Harbert)
This article discusses how, why, and some examples of the patents that NASA has announced they are giving away. Although, they are not actually “giving” away the patents, there are some requirements if your startup wants to get its hands on one of these licenses. First off your company had to be formed in the last year. They also must intend to commercialize the technology after NASA grants them a license. And, after three years of licensing, a startup will have to pay royalties. “The royalties will be “lower than industry standard, lower than government standards, and lower than NASA’s usual standard,”.”(Harbert) This is a great way for NASA to gain access to many new technologies that other agencies will not have access to because they do not offer the same deal. This program that NASA is offering is attracting a lot of attention from start up companies, with three million applications downloaded in the first three days. NASA must take its time going through all of the applications, because they want to make sure the startup has the capability of producing useful technologies. ““We want to know that [the startup] has the technical chops, and that it’s not just tying up the IP,” (Harbert). If the startup is incapable of producing results after five years, actions will be taken by NASA to terminate their license.
With potentially millions of ideas for new technologies, NASA is sure to have success in their quest for new and useful technologies for the future. “The agency hopes that the startup program will produce at least a few “home runs,” says Lockney. After all, NASA has been the inventor of technologies that, once commercialized, became part of everyday American life,” (Harbert).
This article describes clearly NASA’s offer for free patents and licensing to new technological startup companies, some areas where it is lacking are describing any specific areas of technology that are more important than others, however, all together this article was interesting and informative, and clearly displayed the demand for new technologies today.
Harbert, Tam. "NASA Offering Patents to Startups, No Money Down." Spectrum.org. N.p., 29 Oct. 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2015.