NASA field centers across the country engage with business schools and hundreds of students each year. Through the Technology Transfer University (T2U) program, the agency is educating young entrepreneurs and tomorrow's industry leaders about the benefits of using federal government research and development assets in commercial applications.
The T2U program at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has it roots in an outreach arrangement that the Technology Transfer Office has cultivated with the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). In this collaboration, MBA students are presented with the opportunity to gain real-world work experience by exploring the commercial potential of actual MSFC innovations. In return, the center is allowed to tap into eager minds that are being exposed to the latest empirical findings and analytical techniques.
The UAH classes have already produced a licensing application for a Marshall technology. Based largely on the findings presented in a student-developed marketing assessment, a North Alabama company is now investigating the commercialization potential of a NASA-developed panoramic lens.
The success of the collaboration with UAH is leading to similar arrangements with other institutions of higher learning. The details of MSFC’s participation in classes at Alabama A&M University are currently being finalized.
A collaboration effort with the University of Alabama (UA, main campus in Tuscaloosa) is also in the works. MSFC will work specifically with the STEM Path to MBA program, which is applicable to all undergraduate STEM majors (all disciplines of engineering, computer science, and math). The program enables a student to complete both a BS and a MBA in 5 years. MSFC participation could begin as early as the spring 2015 semester.
To learn more about T2U, or to initiate a program at your school, please contact Terry Taylor (email@example.com).