Original Date: 03/08/1999
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Technology Transfer and Deployment
Technology Transfer and Deployment (T2D) is a principal mission of the Applied Research Laboratory at the Pennsylvania State University (ARL Penn State). The Laboratory champions the transfer of advanced technologies and manufacturing processes, in partnership with industry and Navy research and development (R&D) centers, to acquisition programs and the Fleet. The laboratory’s charter promotes technology transfer for economic competitiveness, and supports congressional and Department of Defense (DoD) mandates in the transfer of federally- funded technology to the commercial sector. Technology transfer projects range from providing Commercial-off- the-shelf (COTS) technology implementation assistance for productivity enhancement to implementing advanced technologies for new product or process development.
The ARL Penn State and the Pennsylvania State University developed many technologies under federal projects and non-sponsored departmental research. The laboratory’s relationships with small companies; its teaming skills with government, industry, and academia; and its problem-solving focus have all consistently led to effective T2D. In addition, the ARL Penn State continues to expand and upgrade its facilities, and develop new strategic government and commercial alliances. The laboratory hosts national symposia highlighting areas of technical expertise, and sponsors detailed, hands-on workshops for technology transfer to government and industry.
Technology transfer efforts are particularly concentrated on, but not limited to, providing economic development support for industry within the State of Pennsylvania. These efforts include transfer of Navy, the DoD, and other government-funded technology development; direct technical support and proposal development; direct contract support; and training and continuing education. Industrial development programs take several forms. The ARL Penn State can perform work-for-other efforts under a contract or do the work itself under a contract to industry. Other forms include consortia programs and projects, and state-funded efforts.
State funding and assistance programs offer the ARL Penn State the opportunity to work with small, entrepreneurial companies in ways that lead to the development of thriving companies and new industries. One example is GEO- Form, a small, environmental engineering startup in Girard, Pennsylvania. The ARL Penn State helped GEO-Form design and manufacture a biological reactor system prototype for municipal wastewater treatment to meet the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources’ certification trials. The result was an all-composite design that outperformed existing and competing systems many-fold, and met performance and cost requirements. Each component is produced by the most efficient, available manufacturing process. The system is now being installed at all highway rest stops in Pennsylvania, and the company is expanding worldwide.
The ARL Penn State’s T2D efforts have achieved success in many technology areas such as shearography, spectroscopy, turbine blade stripping, laser cladding, spectro/paint characterization, fatigue amelioration, and welding of lightweight structures. Industrial success stories include laser cutting and welding of aluminum for automotive applications; laser cladding of struts for fabrication and repair of heavy equipment components; laser welding of medical equipment; laser cutting of bicycle frame components; development of lightweight composite frames for high performance bicycles; and improvements in laboratory centrifuges. Details of these and similar success stories can be found on the MANTECH Program’s website at http://mantech.bmpcoe.org/successes and on the ARL Penn State’s website at http://www.arl.psu.edu.
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