The National Technology Transfer Center

From 1998 to 2001, I worked for the Washington office of the National Technology Transfer Center. At the time, this outfit had one mission--to help commercialize technologies that were developed by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (now the Missile Defense Agency).

In a nutshell, BMDO's mission was to develop missile defense systems, both for protecting localized theaters of combat, and for protecting the U.S. as a whole. As you might imagine, stopping an incoming missile in-flight requires technologies beyond what could be purchased at the local Radio Shack. So BMDO invested heavily into research and development. The problem with specialized R&D, however, is that the end-products are very, very expensive. To keep costs down on what would already be insanely expensive systems, BMDO needed to facilitate what is known in government parlance as "technology transfer," or the adoption of technology for secondary uses. The idea behind tech transfer is one of cost savings. One specialized product, such as a microchip, could cost millions if custom-produced for one mission. But if microchips were produced in mass, such as for home computers, then one could be purchased for only a few hundred dollars.

The process is a bit more complicated than that, of course. And I'm not factoring in all the political factors that have driven BMDO (i.e. "Star Wars"). Nonetheless, NTTC's role was, and is, to present BMDO-developed technologies to potential investors who might want to mass produce products based on them. So all the reports, newsletter articles and backgrounders I did for the organization, many of which are below, were written from that perspective.



Reports :

BMDO Fiber-Optic Technologies for Telecommunications Part II: Optical Switches and Circuitry (report) (June 2001)


Backgrounders:

Solar-Powered High-Altitude Unmanned Aircraft, AeroVironment, Inc.

Direct Digital Conversion,Amain Electronics, Inc.

Submicron-Resolution, Large-Area, High-Throughput Patterning System for Electronic Modules , Anvik Corporation.

Monolithically Interconnected, High-Voltage Silicon Solar Cell Arrays, AstroPower, Inc.

Signal Processing for Improved Spatial Resolution Measurements, Brimrose Corporation.

High Electro-Optic Coefficient Films for Fiber-Optic Components,Corning Applied Technologies

Small Vector Thrust Pulsed Detonation Rocket Engine, Enigmatics, Inc.

Visual Software Agents for Automated Code Engineering, FlowLynx, Inc.

Omnidirectional Video Surveillance System, Genex Technologies, Inc.

Unified Memory Architecture, Integrated Magnetoelectronics

Intelligent Real-Time Control System, Intelligent Automation, Inc.

Electrochromic materials, J.A. Woollam Company, Inc.

Laser Propulsion, Lightcraft Technologies, Inc.

Wafer Thinning Process, Materials and Technologies Corp.

Electrostatic Self-Assembly of Nanoparticles, NanoSonic, Inc.

VCSEL-based Optical Disc Drive , New Dimension Research & Instrument, Inc.

Dynamic Optical Interconnection, New Span Opto-Technology Inc.

Holographic Beam Homogenizer, Physical Optics Corp.

Energy-Based Vibration Control System for Load-Bearing Skin Structures, Quality Research, Development & Consulting, Inc.

Electroluminescent Materials, Quantum Energy Technologies Corp. 

Photonic Switch, Radiant Photonics, Inc.

Chiral Film, Reveo, Inc.

Error Correction Code, Science Dynamics Corp.

Photonic Liquid Crystal Elements, SpectraSwitch, Inc.

Nanometer-sized Dielectric Powders for Embedded Capacitance, TPL, Inc.

NULL Convention Logic, Theseus Logic, Inc.


Articles from the BMDO Update :

Streamlining Waveguide Production (Winter 2001)

Superconductivity Calls (Fall 2001)

New Span Pioneers Writeable Optical Interconnects (Fall 2001)

NanoSonic Demonstrates Self-Assembly Process (Summer 2001)

Corning Gets a Handle on Optical Polarization (Summer 2001)

Optical Interconnects Speed Multi-Chip Communications (Summer 2001)

Smart Control System Reduces Vibrations (Spring 2001)

New Patterning Technology Makes Faster Electronics, Sharper Displays (Spring 2001)

Signal Processing System Makes Finer Measurements (Spring 2001)

Robust Photonic Switch On The Way (Spring 2001)

Data Decks Offer Greater Capacity Than CDs (Winter 2000)

Forward Error Correction Saves Bandwidth (Winter 2000)

Code Review Made Easy (Winter 2000)

Building a Business Layer by Layer (Fall 2000)

Small Engine, Big Payoff (Fall 2000)

Algorithm Recognizes Voice Patterns in Noisy Environments (Fall 2000)

Photonic Company's Growth Depends on People (Summer 2000)

For Tiny Chips, Thinner is Better (Spring 2000)

New Compact Disc Drive Design Improves Performance (Spring 2000)

Chorum Brings Optical Switching Closer to Reality (Winter 1999)

LED Lamp to Outshine Today's Light Sources (Fall 1999)

Digital Display System Achieves Natural Motion (Fall 1999)

Radiant Lights the Way for Affordable WDM (Fall 1999)

Materials R&D Yields New Ellipsometer, Window Applications (Fall 1999)

Rising to the Clockless Advantage (Summer 1999)

New Transistor Beats the Heat (Summer 1999)

Fuzzy CMAC Takes a Bite Out of Crime (Summer 1999)

Solar Powered Craft Offers Satellite Alternative (Summer 1999)

Get Ready for More Powerful Microelectronics (Spring 1999)

Small Diffuser Brings Big Payoffs (Spring 1999)


Home