What Is Technology Transfer?
Technology transfer is the process of introducing federally funded technologies
(products, processes, and services) into the private business sector for:
- Enhancing U.S. international competitiveness
- Creating jobs
- Providing taxpayers with the full benefit of Federal R & D dollars.
Another critical aspect of technology transfer involves introducing
commercially developed products into the government in order to:
- Lower research, development and procurement costs
- Increase system performance
- Access the latest technologies.
There are many benefits from technology transfer. This process:
- Creates new products and services
- Increases the Nation's base of technical knowledge
- Increases the return on federal engineering, research, and development
- Provides access to industry expertise
- Brings new technology from the private sector.
Technology transfer improves the competitiveness and profitability of
many businesses. To take advantage of existing research and development
efforts, the MTTC team identifies new technologies, developed by the defense
department and other public and private organizations, to help regional
businesses achieve these goals. MTTC also aids businesses with product
sales by advising the military of new applicable commercial products these
companies have developed.
In just a few short months of operation, MTTC has already identified,
and is working to transfer , several technologies in each of these categories.
- Electro Slag Surfacing (ESS) is one instance of transfer from military
to commercial uses. ESS is a weld resurfacing process for applications
that require superior corrosion or wear resistance properties. The Navy
has qualified this process for cladding ship propeller shafts. MTTC envisions
commercial applications for this process in steel rolling, aluminum rolling,
and coal mining industries.
- SLS or Selective Laser Sintering is a "rapid prototyping"
process. MTTC is working with several companies on a Navy-sponsored project
investigating the use of SLS to produce metallic components directly from
a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) file by sintering and hot isostatic pressing.
This technology could provide a method for the rapid fabrication of molds
and dies for industrial applications and is linked with the SLS capability
at the University of Louisville.
- Applied Surface Technology, Inc. of Louisville. Kentucky has three
technologies for transfer: one treats contaminated water, another extinguishes
hydrocarbon fires, and a third which is an applied (brush or spray) thermal
insulation coating that provides an R value of 15-20 at a thickness of
15 to 20 mils. MTTC is in the process of transferring these technologies
to the military for some exciting potential uses onboard Navy ships and
in the field.
- Visual Computing Systems of Greenville, Indiana has developed an electric
motor that has a much higher efficiency, more level torque curve, and lower
weight than current designs. Many weight-critical military applications,
such as topside installations onboard ships, could benefit from this technology.
This motor will be demonstrated in MTTC's Vendor Showcase for controlling
a manufacturing robot.
- MTTC is also assisting Berry Systems, Inc., also of Louisville, in
further developing their Visual Layer software that reduces the time required
to prepare CAD drawings and enhances the quality of CAD layering. In addition
to potential commercial applications, one specific military application
for this technology would be in map making.
These and other technology transfer activities will be described in
more detail in future issues of the Journal of Commerce & Industry.