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Technology Transfer
The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 and a series of subsequent legislation recognizes transfer of Federally owned or originated technology to be a national priority and the mission of each Federal agency. Accordingly, NASA is obliged to provide for the widest practicable dissemination of information concerning results of NASA's activities. The legislation specifically mandates that each Federal agency have a formal technology transfer program, and take an active role in transferring technology to the private sector and state and local governments for the purposes of commercial and other application of the technology for the national benefit. In accordance with NASA's obligations under mandating legislation, IPP, on behalf of NASA, facilitates the transfer of technology to which NASA has title for commercial application and other national benefit.

IPP seeks potential licensees and negotiates license agreements to transfer NASA technology. More than 1600 such technology transfer successes have been documented in NASA's Spinoff Magazine over the years, which include commercial applications in health and medicine, transportation, public safety, consumer goods, agriculture, environmental resources, computer technology, manufacturing, and energy conversion and use. Licensing terms are negotiated on a case-by-case basis, although technology fields of use are defined as narrowly as practical in every case; exclusive licenses are uncommon, but still possible in exceptional cases. IPP also facilitates the reporting of new technologies by both NASA and contractor inventors, as well as assesses the commercial potential and strategic value of those technologies to NASA’s missions. Therefore, IPP facilitates the protection of NASA’s rights in intellectual property to which it has title, thus providing the basis for licensing and technology transfer.

How to Access NASA Technology

NASA technologies available for license can be searched at the NASA Techfinder portal. In addition, IPP produces the following publications that provide insight into available NASA technologies, commercial applications of NASA technologies, as well as technology needs of the Agency:
  • Tech Briefs Magazine – A monthly publication that includes technologies available for licensing, technologies available at no cost, and NASA’s technology needs for which NASA is seeking dual-use technology development partners.
  • Spinoff Magazine – An annual publication featuring about 50 NASA technology transfer successes.
  • Technology Innovation Magazine – An approximately quarterly publication providing information on NASA’s technology needs and associated partnering opportunities, as well as on NASA’s partnering successes.

In addition, the public may contact the IPP National Network points of contact and visit Field Center IPP websites for information on NASA technologies available for license. NASA Industry Days held at various NASA Field Centers can also be a useful source of information on available NASA technologies and NASA’s technology needs.

The spectrum of technologies key to NASA’s missions is so broad that it is difficult to imagine a key industrial sector that could not benefit from NASA’s inventions in one or more technology areas. The IPP program, through its various program elements, therefore provides the opportunity for a broad spectrum of industry, large and small companies alike, as well as invites the genius of individuals, to create innovative technology and technology applications for the benefit of NASA’s missions and the Nation.

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