Polaris MEP Signs “Space Act Agreement” with NASA to Accelerate Technology Transfer

Home / News / Polaris MEP Signs “Space Act Agreement” with NASA to Accelerate Technology Transfer

by | Mar 13, 2024

by | Mar 13, 2024

Polaris MEP Signs “Space Act Agreement” With NASA to Accelerate Technology Transfer to Rhode Island Manufacturers

Non-profit’s partnership with NASA eases access to innovative patents and software that can help small Ocean State manufacturing companies gain a competitive edge

Providence, RI – March 13, 2024 – Thousands of NASA scientists, engineers, and developers are constantly innovating technology solutions to out-of-this-world challenges. After Polaris MEP signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, it will be easier for smaller Rhode Island manufacturers to access and leverage NASA-developed technology for their company goals.

The Space Act Agreement is between the NASA Technology Transfer Program and the Rhode Island Center in the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership National Network (MEPNN). Polaris MEP is one of 51 non-profit Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers comprising the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) Hollings MEP National Network.

“Most people recognize that NASA has been developing incredible technologies for decades, but few know that those patented discoveries could be licensed by even the smallest Rhode Island manufacturing company,” said Polaris MEP Center Director Matt Watson. “We’re excited to connect more RI Manufacturers directly to NASA’s deep catalogs of software and patents, and then begin helping those companies integrate the technology into their products and operations.”

Rhode Island companies will be able to learn about “How doing business with NASA can help your business” in the first NASA-Polaris MEP webinar on March 18, 2024. Jeanne King, an Innovation Partnership Specialist and the Software Release Authority at NASA’s Glenn Research Center Technology Transfer Office in Cleveland will provide an overview of the Technology Transfer program. Future sessions are planned for later this year.

NASA’s Tech Transfer program is charged with finding broad, innovative applications for NASA-developed technology through partnerships and licensing agreements, ensuring agency investments benefit the nation. Polaris MEP leaders said they’re inspired by the possibilities of NASA Technology Transfer to smaller RI manufacturers.

“Commercializing these technologies could have a transformative impact on an RI business,” said Watson. Imagine what you can do when you incorporate NASA-proven tech into one of your products or the sales possibilities created by licensing a one-of-a-kind patent and manufacturing a whole new solution to a common problem.”

Polaris MEP’s Kayla Viveiros will host the webinar. Viveiros is the Supply Chain Programs Manager for Rhode Island. She said she’s most excited to see how RI manufacturers could use technology in NASA’s catalog to solve Supply Chain issues. “I imagine how a metals fabricator might license a solution to heat treating that gives them an advantage over imported products, or a composites company could discover an innovation to make their products stronger, faster, or lighter.”

NASA Tech Transfer has been running for decades, but only a few Ocean State manufacturers knew about the program. Past Tech Transfer Spinoffs with a Rhode Island connection include a powerful system developed by RI’s Dewetron to monitor performance on the Space Launch System mobile launch platform; the BedJet, a machine inspired by spacesuit environmental systems that keeps sleepers comfortable; and Hasbro’s Aero Nerf toy gliders.

Viveiros said that Polaris MEP’s new Space Act Agreement with NASA has already yielded a successful match with a local textile manufacturer. She expects more success stories to come with the increased education and awareness generated by the two partners in the coming months.

Manufacturing companies can register for the March 18 webinar at https://polarismep.org/event/doing-business-with-nasa-march-2024/.

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About Polaris MEP

Polaris MEP provides competitive business improvement programs to grow Rhode Island’s manufacturing industry. Polaris MEP is a statewide nonprofit organization. An affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP), the consultancy is a business unit of the URI Research Foundation. www.PolarisMEP.org

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