6. Technology Transfer
Technology Transfer covers all interactions with external organizations, whether transferring technology into or out of the S&T program. It should be distinguished from Technology Transition, which deals with the maturing of technology within the S&T program and transitioning it to development (6.4 or 6.5 programs). The Army continuously monitors new commercial developments looking for military applications. This "spin-on" of technology is of growing importance to the Army S&T program--not only from the domestic R&D programs but also from development overseas. Conversely, where military R&D is in the lead (e.g., rotorcraft, night vision, propulsion) technology transfer to commercial uses is actively pursued. Technology transfer is also made easier by the growing DoD adoption of commercial products, practices, and processes, and by the DoD Reliance initiative.
- Co-operative R&D Agreements. It is Army policy to actively market technology that can benefit the public and private sectors, and to respond quickly to requests for technical assistance. The mechanisms for accomplishing this are Cooperative R&D Agreements (CRDAs), the Construction Productivity Advancement Research (CPAR) program, Patent License Agreements (PLAs), and technical outreach programs. The cumulative Army totals from 1989 through FY96 are 895 CRDAs including CPAR agreements, and 73 PLAs. Of these agreements, 653 are still active (see Chapter VII.B.4 and B.5). The Army has more cooperative agreements than all the remainder of DoD combined.
- National Automotive Center (NAC). Recognizing the many dual use benefits to be exchanged among industry, academia, and government, the Army established the National Automotive Center in 1993 (see Figure I-16).
|Figure I-16. Dual-Use Technology|
The NAC is located at the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, Warren, Michigan, and serves to facilitate the transfer of dual use automotive technologies from the commercial sector to the military and vice versa.
- National Rotorcraft Technology Center (NRTC). The NRTC, established in 1996, is a catalyst for facilitating collaborative rotorcraft research and development between the DoD (Army and Navy), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), industry, and academia (see Figure I-16). It serves as the means to cooperatively develop and implement a rotorcraft technology plan and national strategy that can effectively address both civil and military rotorcraft needs.
- University Research Centers. Army policy is to foster basic research objectives by leveraging research programs in academic institutions. To accomplish this the Army sponsors research through the Army Center of Excellence Program and through the DoD University Research Initiative. Through these programs the Army focuses active research participation with more than 20 American universities (see Chapter V and Chapter VII.C.l).
- Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR). The Army has revised and strengthened the SBIR program to better leverage and support this innovative, entrepenural sector of our economy (see Figure I-17).
|Figure I-17. Small Business Innovation Research
(SBIR) Process (<500 employees)
Many Army science and technology programs are conducted jointly or in coordination with the Air Force, the Navy, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and other defense agencies assisted by Project Reliance. Other government agencies leveraged by the Army include the national laboratories of the Department of Energy (DoE), particularly for technologies such as directed energy and advanced materials; and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Outside the United States, the Army seeks potential opportunities to increase the effectiveness of technology development through the sharing of RDT&E resources with NATO and major non-NATO allies. These joint and interagency programs are discussed in Chapter VII, Technology Transfer.