NASA's Technology Transfer Process

This infographic diagram illustrates the full life cycle of NASA's Technology Transfer process, starting with the submittal of New Technology Reports (NTRs) by NASA inventors, partners, grantees and contractors. The NTR's follow defined pathways that result in various forms of NASA technology transfer products including Patents, Software Usage Agreements, NASA Space Act Agreements, technical publications and informative webinars. Each NTR is filtered and distributed along its technology transfer pathway based on its Intellectual Property (IP) status. It is important to note that, even if NASA has funded the underlying work of its partners, contractors and grantees NASA cannot pursue a patent for any technology for which it does not hold intellectual property rights.

Using data from a single representative fiscal year (FY2008), each column of the diagram is differentially weighted to represent its respective portion of the 1,445 total NTRs submitted in FY2008. For example, the widest columns are those representing the NTRs submitted by Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and small businesses (with NASA funded sponsorship), each comprising ~ 30% of the total. As the columns move down the procedural pathways, they gradually decrease in width, representing the systematic determination of the technology transfer process for each NTR. Less than 10% of the NTRs submitted in FY2008 were patented by NASA resulting in new licenses for 20 of these technologies.

You can view and download the diagram in high resolution by clicking on the link provided below.

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Technology Transfer IP Process
Technology Transfer IP Process Infographic