Charles Redmond Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

February 25, 1993 (Phone: 202/358-1757) RELEASE: 93-037 NASA Funds Experiment to Help Commercialize Technology Beginning this month NASA's latest experiment will test "technology incubation" -- a new laboratory-to-market approach designed to help space technology contribute to U.S. industrial competitiveness. NASA's Office of Advanced Concepts and Technology began the 3-year technology commercialization experiment by funding two Technology Commercialization Centers, one at the its Ames Research Center, Mountain View, Calif., and the other at Johnson Space Center, Houston. The program, funded this year for $800,000, is being managed and will be operated by the IC2 Institute at the University of Texas, Austin. The two NASA technology commercialization centers will be set up by the IC2 Institute's staff and will draw upon a regional network of entrepreneurs, investment capital, market and business savvy on the one hand and the NASA field center talent and technology pool on the other. The two NASA centers were selected as test case areas because of the variety of technologies being developed at each center and the existing economic and business infrastructure to support those technologies in the two locales. The IC2 Institute was selected by NASA because of its successful work with University of Texas (UT) technology spinoffs. The institute operates the Austin Technology Incubator, which has worked with the University and economic

partners in the Austin area during the last few years to create new companies and jobs from research work performed at UT. The IC2 Institute has developed a laboratory-to-market model which specializes in technology incubation _ taking the technological output of a laboratory, in this case JSC and Ames, and pairing that technology with appropriate partners in the business and financial community to create and foster new industry and with the industry, new jobs. - more -2The IC2 will work during the 3-year grant period to forge firm links between the two NASA centers and community and economic resources in the Bay Area and in Southeastern Texas. The goal of this project is to accelerate the technology commercialization process and to bolster the entrepreneurial spirit throughout NASA. Both Ames and JSC will have separately-operated "incubators," with staff provided by the IC2 Institute. The NASA goal is to shorten the learning curve associated with successfully commercializing technology from NASA to the private sector and to reduce the time required for this transfer to take place. IC2 will be working directly with individuals at both centers to foster financial support and community resources which might be required to bring a NASA-developed technology to the commercial market. In Houston much of the expected technology commercialization will involve medical science and aerospace research because of JSC's role as the manned space center and because of the Houston area's position as a world-leader in medical technology and the emerging role of Houston in the aerospace field. For Ames the focus is expected to be computing skills and hardware, materials and selected medical areas and the capabilities of the Silicon Valley to support and commercialize that type of technology. The two centers represent dramatically different types of technology development and reside in strongly different economic and social regions. As a result of these differences, NASA's Office of Advanced Concepts and Technology expects that if the experimental commercialization centers at Ames and JSC are successful, this concept could be extended to other NASA centers

and could be used as models for other federally-funded laboratories. The cooperative agreement with the University of Texas, IC2 Institute, calls for about $400,000 funding for each of the two centers this year, with funding rising to approximately $1 million a year at each of the centers for 1994 and 1995. Total program funding is $5.4 million over the 3-year life. - end -