NSA Technology Transfer

NSA Technology Transfer


The National Security Agency / Central
Security Service drives one of the U.S. government’s
leading research and development programs. We develop cutting-edge
technologies to meet agency mission requirements. Our discoveries also
contribute to the creation and improvement of many commercial products.
Through our technology transfer program NSA openly shares these
technologies with private industry, academia and other U.S. government
agencies. So the way the NSA works the patenting process – if you have an idea
you fill out a disclosure form and you send that to the patent office at NSA. They’ll review that form and decide if they think it’s patentable if
so you work with them to submit a formal application to the U.S. Patent Office. Once an inventor
has a patented technology or a patent application pending on a technology, we engage
with the inventor, try to determine what they have in support of their patent, whether that be a paper or a demo, source code. So
that we can in effect then take what they have find an appropriate partner for
commercialization and then at times we will put the inventor together with the
external stakeholder and…and the inventor ultimately helps us in working out an agreement to license
their technologies. So the nice thing about working with the tech transfer
team in these sorts of processes is they kind of do it all for you. You have to
provide the technical expertise that they need to make a tech transfer happen
but pretty much they handle all the parts of the process and make it really
easy for you to work with them. There are four types of technology
transfer. Patent license agreements allow industry to buy a license to
commercialize specific NSA technologies. Educational partnership
agreements establish formal relationships with academic institutions
so that NSA personnel can teach or develop science and technology curricula.
Technology transfer sharing agreements let NSA share technology at no cost
with other U.S. government agencies and finally collaborative research and
development agreements or CRADA leverage government and commercial
expertise toward a mutual goal. So we’ve we’ve had a CRADA for about 10 years
now with Intel Corporation and that CRADA has been very insightful for both
the government and for Intel in terms of the government being able to get new
insight into how microprocessor vendor develops its research program and
commercial entity Intel has gained new insight into what motivates the
government’s care abouts in security technology. So FIXMO got to know NSA in the Tech
Transfer program a little over two years ago two years ago the technology is autoberry. NSA came up with the capability to detect changes and problems with
BlackBerry devices but that was really tailored towards just government use of
those BlackBerry devices. And they knew that they needed to get this out to a
broader audience they wanted to go into the private sector so they made it
available via the Tech Transfer program. And FIXMO came in and negotiated an
exclusive license to that technology and then we’ve taken it and basically
created an entire business around that technology. We also implemented a CRADA
where they can share ideas they can get engineering support from us and we get
to retain the IP if we develop. No funds are transferred it helps us put
clearances in place, it helps to share information and it facilitates
new ideas. The CRADA”s really been a great, great
vehicle to complement the Tech Transfer. They really gave us a jump-start into
the federal market and really change the direction of the company. It’s also helped
NSA from an Information Assurance Directorate perspective. They need to get
capability out to protect the critical infrastructure. And if its technology
that’s built by NSA, supported by NSA, they can’t really give that very easily
to the private sector so moving it through the Tech Transfer program and
let us commercialize it actually gets the capability into the private sector and
the public sector. So it’s turned into a very positive relationship for both
organizations. The public gets the benefit of NSA’s
dollars have gone into the research to date, paired with the commercial
industry’s vision of what the public is looking for and needs in terms of
technologies. It’s important for NSA to share its technology, one because it’s
legally required. There’s a tech transfer statute that requires government
employees that agencies to identify intellectual property’s potential value and
to transfer it. It also helped the agency because the money that we receive from
the licensing fees and royalties we can use to further research and development.
There are certainly some financial benefits that inventors may realize as a
result of tech transfer of their intellectual property. But I think myself
in most of my researchers realized a great sense of pride and satisfaction
and they see something outside the normal boundary of our campus
containing their intellectual property. They can say I made that. Well, the Tech
Transfer office has been exceptional to work with. All professional, they do
understand they sit between NSA and they understand
how NSA has to do business and the private sector and what the private sector needs to
be successful. It’s a unique role you don’t find it
very often that they’ve been very good at bridging that difference
between the NSA, Intelligence Community, the DoD, and the private sector.

Danny Hutson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *