President Clinton has called technology "the engine of economic growth." It is a key element in attaining one of the major goals enunciated by the President: reinigorating American competitiveness in the global marketplace.
Technological innovation is today the principal currency of international competition. The rewards for bringing superior new products and processes to the marketplace are a robust economy for the successful nation and an elevated standard of living for its people.
The great storehouse of technology NASA has built in 37 years of pursuing aeronautical and space goals represents a singularly important asset for the United States. That technology is not perishable; it can be used over and over, and it can be adapted to uses different and often remote from the original application.
This bank of knowledge is , in fact, being well utilized. Hundreds of companies have taken advantage of this national resource to develop more than a thousand new products and processes for the world market. They gain a competitive edge in the marketplace because they employ advanced technology already developed.
These secondary applications of aerospace technology - "spinoffs" - span so broad a range of public needs and conveniences it is almost impossible to find an area of everyday life they have not improved. Collectively they represent a substantial dividend on the national investment in aerospace research.
Recognizing the great potential of the technology bank, Congress charged NASA with stimulating the widest possible use of this valuable resource in the national interest. NASA's instrument of that purpose is the Technology Transfer Program, which seeks to broaden and accelerate the spinoff process. Its intent is to spur expanded national benefit, in terms of new products and new jobs, by facilitating the commercial application of e technology; it encourages greater use of the storehouse of knowledge by providing a channel linking the technology and those who might be able to put it to advantageous use. In July 1994, NASA implemented an Agenda for Change - a new way of doing business in partnership with the private sector. This Agenda marks the beginning of a new focus to further improve our contributions to America's economic security through the pursuit of aeronautics and space missions.
This publication is an implement of the Technology Transfer Program intended to heighten awareness among potential users of the technology available for transfer and the economic and socail benefits that might be realized by applications of NASA technology to U.S. commercial interests.
Spinoff 1995 is organized in three sections:
Section 1, outlines NASA's mainline effort, the major programs that generate new technology and therefore replenish and expand the bank of technical knowledge available for application.
Section 2, the focal point of this volume, contains a representative sampling of spinoff products and processes that resulted from applications of technology orginally developed to meet NASA aerspace goals.
Section 3, describes the various mechanisms NASA employs to stimulate technology transfer and lists, in an appendix, contract sources for further information about e Technology Transfer Program.