Original Date: 08/20/2001
Revision Date: 12/14/2006
Best Practice : Shared Vision: Research and Development Funding
Lockheed Martin and General Electric’s Corporate Research and Development Center have developed a shared- vision research and development funding program. This co-investment allows both companies to obtain more research for less investment dollars, and creates many opportunities for bringing new technologies to market.
The heritage companies of Lockheed Martin (e.g., General Electric-Aerospace Group; Martin Marietta) performed their basic research in numerous ways. Basic research for General Electric-Aerospace Group was done at General Electric’s Corporate Research and Development Center. Basic research for Martin Marietta was contracted to research corporations such as Sarnoff Laboratories, while the company used its own advanced technology laboratories for applied research. In 1992, a five-year commitment for research funding at General Electric’s Corporate Research and Development Center was made to General Electric as part of the General Electric- Aerospace Group sale to Martin Marietta. Three years later, the merger with Lockheed occurred. The desire to leverage General Electric’s world-class research source toward Lockheed Martin’s needs led to a great opportunity ... Shared Vision: Research and Development Funding.
Shared Vision: Research and Development Funding allows Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Surface Systems (NE&SS-SS) to leverage its investment dollars for accomplishing basic research and development. The original five-year research commitment has turned into a close-knit agreement between Lockheed Martin and General Electric as non-competing companies. This relationship enables them to share the costs of research and development, while gaining new technologies from basic research programs. Each company develops a business case that shows when and how a technology is needed to further their interest. Each program is defined by a Statement of Work, and often is coordinated with other technology development efforts (e.g., Internal Research and Development [IRAD], Contract Research and Development [CRAD], research grants). Research then begins. The companies also develop a task plan with measurable milestones, and review them on a monthly basis to determine the progress and results. The results are posted on General Electric’s Integrated Data Environment Vault for easy access.
The co-investment by Lockheed Martin and General Electric allows more total research to be accomplished with less investment, and the results have the potential of bringing new technology to defense and commercial markets. An agreement between the companies gives Lockheed Martin first rights to patent the research. If this right is declined, General Electric can then patent the research if desired. But no matter who initiates the patent, both companies benefit as neither pays royalties to the other on the patented technology. Shared Vision: Research and Development Funding works best when both companies keep their research focused on mutually beneficial product and market insertions. Each concentrates on game changing technologies with a strategy to transition the technology to production. With the success of this co-investment, Lockheed Martin has expanded this type of program to Sandia National Laboratories.
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