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News Release 99-39

For Release: May 13, 1999

Kathleen A. Zona
(Bus: 216/433-2920)

Lori J. Rachul
(Bus: 216/433-8806)


NASA Glenn Research Center to Offer Unique Business Opportunity

In today's competitive marketplace, every edge counts. Start-up software, electronics and communications (SEC) companies can get that edge from NASA Glenn Research Center's Lewis Incubator for Technology (LIFT).

Glenn's Commercial Technology Office (CTO) received additional funding from the Agency last summer that enabled LIFT to establish its second incubator under an existing cooperative agreement. The facility opened on May 1, 1999.

Established in March 1997, LIFT currently houses six tenants in its leased space at the BP America facility in Warrensville, OH. At LIFT's second location, the Developmental Engineering Annex Building at Glenn, there will be a special focus on creating new businesses based on commercialization of NASA software, electronics and communications technologies.

According to CTO Chief Dr. Larry Viterna, "The SEC Incubator will nurture new and emerging businesses that incorporate technology developed by NASA or build on NASA expertise. NASA has identified SEC technologies as particularly suitable for transfer to small businesses."

"We believe that this is an excellent opportunity to build on the already demonstrated success of the LIFT program while opening up new areas of technologies for commercialization, which may not be as suitable for the lab-intensive environment of the BP location," said LIFT Executive Director Wayne Zeman. "Like the BP site, Enterprise Development, Inc. (EDI) will be responsible for managing the facility and providing comprehensive business and support services to SEC tenants."

The second location meets the unique "office space-intensive" needs of SEC start-up companies that are usually one-to-two-person operations requiring not much more than a desk and computer. The SEC Incubator has several offices available for lease, each about 250 square feet. Having Glenn researchers and tenant companies close together will be beneficial in maintaining on-going communications to commercialize NASA's SEC technologies.

A major key to the success of LIFT has been the collaborative relationship established by the partnering organizations-NASA Glenn, the Ohio Department of Development, Enterprise Development Inc. and the Great Lakes Industrial Technology Center (GLITeC). Each organization is dedicated to the goal of economic development through the leveraging of their unique and complementary strengths.

LIFT will continue to draw on the strengths of the various partners to locate and support the operation and tenants of the SEC Incubator. This mechanism of partnership has proven its success at the BP site and has been expanded to include the second site.

"Technology transfer is one of NASA's missions just like those in aeronautics and space," said Dr. Kim Veris, Glenn LIFT project manager. "Technology transfer and company incubation will stimulate the commercialization of NASA technology in the private sector."

NASA currently has nine incubators across the country that provide a nationwide resource to expand the growing high-technology interests of small businesses and educational institutions.

More information on LIFT can be found at: www.liftinc.org.

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99-39



 

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