Hey, startups: NASA wants to give you its patented technology for free - Technical.ly


Oct. 13, 2015 1:51 pm

Hey, startups: NASA wants to give you its patented technology for free

We call dibs on the Robo-Glove.

NASA wants startups to do something cool with its Robo-Glove, a "wearable human grasp assist device."

(Photo courtesy of NASA)

As a part of its Technology Transfer Program, NASA wants to alleviate two of the biggest struggles that startups face: raising enough capital and securing intellectual property rights. That’s why the space agency has announced the Startup NASA initiative, in which it will license NASA patented technologies with no upfront costs to startup companies looking to use them commercially.

“Startup NASA gives technically-savvy entrepreneurs fast access to a whole portfolio of our best patented and proven technologies around which they can launch new businesses,” said Dan Lockney, NASA’s Technology Transfer Program Executive.

It’s a great offer, really: Smart people at NASA came up with this stuff, and now they want to share their research in order to advance the work of startup companies that’ll bring about new waves of technological discoveries.

Interested startup companies should peruse NASA’s patent portfolio, which includes 15 categories ranging from communications to propulsion.

Fair warning: There’s a lot of stuff to choose from.

According to the official press release, the licensing is free, but there are a few guidelines (which you should read). Basically, your company’s intention must be to commercialize the licensed NASA technology, your minimum fees for the first three years will be waived, and NASA will get standard royalties once you start selling your product or service. (But seriously, read the rules.)

Taking advantage of the initiative is easy enough: find the patent you want, download a license agreement, and drop NASA a line via email. It’s not rocket science, but it’s close.


Valerie Hoke

Valerie Hoke is a freelance writer and contributor to Technical.ly Philly. Originally from Phoenix, Ariz., she lives in Philadelphia and is interested in space exploration, the digitization of print literature and the relationship between technology and the liberal arts.


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