Solar panels, infrared thermometers, scratch resistant eye glasses and invisible braces; what do these things have in common? Well, as many of you may know, these are all products that were developed from NASA technology. And, with a newly launched program, NASA is giving you the chance to use the agency’s technology to develop your own multi-million dollar product!
The reason? According to JoAnn McFarland, NASA really wants to have manned missions to Mars and the Asteroid Belt (thus fulfilling the dreams of people like me who literally fantasize about this stuff!) However, instead of relying solely on the cash-strapped federal government, NASA has decided to turn to the private sector for the additional funding it will need. Thus, the NASA Technology Transfer Program was born – it offers startups licenses to “a diverse portfolio of patented technologies”.
“The main goal of NASA technology licensing is to propel the technology developed over decades of space flight and from experiments aboard the Space Station into usable products that can improve the lot of mankind. It also may help create a lot of jobs.”
If you are interested in being a part of this program, here’s what you need to know:
- “The initial NASA technology licensing is free and there are no minimum fees for three years."
- To be eligible, you have to own a business that was “started for the express purpose of using NASA’s technology to develop new services and products”.
- You only have to worry about paying royalties when you start selling products based on the NASA technology.
- You will not get exclusive licensing rights – i.e. your competitors will also have the same right to use all the NASA technology in the portfolio. (NASA is willing to negotiate with you on this though)
- This program is only available to companies in the U.S.
Are you interested? Go to the program’s main page. There you will be walked through the simple 4 step application process. They will also give you a more comprehensive list of the features and rules of the program. Before you sign the contract though, I would advise you to read this post regarding the most important provisions in licensing agreements. Better yet, hire an attorney if you can afford one just to ensure that you fully understand what you are getting yourself into.
Now there's only one last thing to say: Good Luck!