WASHINGTON - NASA is unveiling a new opportunity for start-up companies to license patented NASA technology with no up-front payment. The Startup NASA initiative addresses two common problems start-ups face: raising capital and securing intellectual property rights.
Aimed at encouraging the growth of high-tech businesses and advancing American innovation, NASA's Technology Transfer Program within the Office of the Chief Technologist designed this initiative to allow start-up companies to choose from a diverse portfolio of more than 1,200 patented NASA technologies that include materials and coatings.
"The Startup NASA initiative leverages the results of our cutting-edge research and development so entrepreneurs can take that research - and some risks - to create new products and new services," said David Miller, NASA's Chief Technologist.
Finding the technologies available for license is simply a click away. NASA has created a streamlined, online patent portfolio covering 15 categories and filled with patents protected by the U.S. government. Once a desired technology is identified, an online application can be filled out and submitted through the website.
Although the license itself is free, the start-up companies must adhere to certain guidelines.
The offer is open only to companies formed with the express intent of commercializing the licensed NASA technology.
"No up-front payment" means NASA waives the initial licensing fees, and there are no minimum fees for the first three years.
Once the company starts selling a product, NASA will collect a standard net royalty fee. This money goes first to the inventor and then to maintaining the agency's technology transfer activities and technology advancement.
The announcement applies only to non-exclusive licenses, which means other companies may apply for similar rights to use the technology for commercial purposes. However, NASA will consider further exclusivity if the start-up wishes to negotiate.
Companies entering into these licenses are bound by all requirements in federal licensing statutes and NASA policies, including development of a commercialization plan and reporting on efforts to achieve practical application.
For more information on this initiative, visit http://www.technology.nasa.gov/startup.