• Wed. May 31st, 2023

NASA Courts Corporations to Use, Create its Technologies


May 26, 2023

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Petra Energy, a Brite Power Innovators portfolio firm primarily based in Warren, is probably a single of handful of firms in the area that credits the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for bringing it to Ohio.

The firm has partnered with NASA Glenn Investigation Center in Cleveland to create the agency’s strong oxide fuel cell technologies for industrial use. 

“NASA has been really cognizant, really focused on the commercialization of this technologies,” mentioned Aaron Goodman, Petra Power’s CEO. 

Goodman, who holds a Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University, mentioned he and co-founder Phillip Clift had entered a competitors hosted by a third celebration in conjunction with NASA many years ago. 

“We have been fortunate to place collectively a compelling sufficient enterprise and commercialization strategy to be in a position to get the license for our patent,” Goodman mentioned. “From there, I have to give all the credit to NASA for assisting us develop that partnership. NASA and Brite sort of teamed up on bringing us to Ohio.”

Goodman declined to be precise about the company’s function. But he mentioned that strong oxide fuel cells could play a important function as an power supply for emergency backup stations and as auxiliary energy for ground and air transportation. “I believe the future does encompass that whole power space,” he mentioned.

The partnership is a single of a lot of that NASA Glenn hopes to cultivate with the private sector across northeastern Ohio to bring its technologies to market place, mentioned Tom Doehne, workplace of technologies incubation and innovation at NASA Glenn.

“Most folks believe that it is really hard to function with a government agency,” Doehne mentioned. “We attempt to make it really effortless for folks to attain out and have an understanding of our applications.”

Doehne was the featured speaker at a technologies transfer informational seminar held at America Tends to make on Thursday. The APEX Accelerator at Youngstown State University, Brite Power, the Youngstown Enterprise Incubator and America Tends to make hosted the occasion.

“We have lots of unique technologies that we’re hunting to commercialize,” Doehne mentioned. 

Numerous widespread merchandise have spun off from NASA technologies, space exploration and study, Doehne mentioned. These include things like memory foam, firefighter gear, GPS technologies, cellphone image technologies, satellite and space communication, invisible braces and wireless technologies, Doehne mentioned. 

Even child formula and the Dust Buster vacuum had their origins at NASA, he added.

The space agency has also pioneered function in sophisticated supplies and electrical systems that could be employed by makers and applied all through a broad variety of industries.

“People wonder what we in fact make out of NASA’s technologies,” Doehne mentioned. “There are issues you use in your day-to-day life that you almost certainly do not know came from NASA’s technologies.”

Doehne mentioned NASA gives funding possibilities by means of its conventional Tiny Enterprise Innovation Investigation and Tiny Enterprise Technologies Transfer applications. Each initiatives are developed to assistance firms leverage NASA-created technologies in the private sector. 

Tiny corporations – a single with fewer than 500 workers – can participate in the SBIR system as a stand-alone entity. To qualify for STTR funding, having said that, the enterprise would also have to have to companion with a nonprofit study institution.

Doehne mentioned the objective is to use NASA Glenn to leverage a stronger economy across northeastern Ohio. Having said that, a lot of firms that are awarded early funding for its SBIR system, for instance, do not generally proceed to Phase II and Phase III funding.

This led to the adoption of a new system, SBIR Ignite, which focuses on funding entrepreneurs and start out-up firms that aim to take new technologies to complete commercialization by means of the whole 3 phases, Doehne mentioned.

NASA’s technologies transfer initiatives involve constructing partnerships across the nation with universities and organizations that are hunting to assistance entrepreneurs and start out-ups making use of NASA technologies, Doehne mentioned.

One particular system, Technologies Transfer University, is particularly developed to engage students, he mentioned. “We ask them to use our technologies portfolio in their entrepreneurial classes,” he mentioned. All through the course, students would understand about licensing and industrial possibilities with NASA.

Really should a company’s wants match the mission and the technologies that NASA has created, they could license this technologies and access the agency’s patent portfolio, Doehne mentioned.

A study license, for instance, enables a firm to function with this technologies and its inventor to additional discover how it could integrate into the industrial market place, Doehne mentioned. “It offers you a runway to function with the technologies and get some genuine evaluation of what your item is,” he mentioned. 

The license is no price to start out-ups and universities, but is $two,500 for all other applicants, he mentioned.

A government-use license is awarded to organizations performing study and assisting NASA in its mission, Doehne mentioned. This license can not be employed for industrial purposes, only inside the government.

The industrial license, having said that, makes it possible for a private entity to safe the rights to make and sell merchandise primarily based on NASA technologies, Doehne mentioned. These licenses are each nonexclusive – that is, it is open to any firm to use in the exact same field – and partially exclusive, which makes it possible for a firm to enter a precise market place, such as metals or transportation.

Jon Loveland, procurement consultant for The APEX Accelerator at YSU, mentioned Thursday’s occasion was intended to make neighborhood makers and corporations conscious of the industrial possibilities with NASA.

“We’ve collaborated with their workplace of technologies transfer for a quantity of years,” Loveland mentioned. Having said that, this is the initially NASA occasion that incorporates sources from APEX, Brite, YBI and America Tends to make. 

“The entire aim is to get folks to use our technologies,” Doehne mentioned. “We’re not out right here to make a lot of income on these technologies. Taxpayers’ income has supported and paid for the study, and all we’re attempting to do is get these technologies back out there so business can have an influence.”

Pictured at prime: James O. Wilson of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace Aaron Goodman, CEO of Petra Energy Tom Doehne, specialist at NASA Glenn Investigation Center’s technologies transfer workplace and Harvey Schabes, NASA Glenn chief, technologies transfer workplace.

Copyright 2023 The Enterprise Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.