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NSWC Crane Fosters Economic Growth in Indiana Through T2 License Agreements

By NSWC Crane Public Affairs | February 07, 2017

February 7, 2017

CRANE, Ind. -- As a recognized national leader in technology transfer (T2), Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) has a significant impact on the growth and development of the Indiana economy. NSWC Crane’s most recent licensing partners are all Indiana based companies with plans to transfer technology out of the federal lab and into the commercial market.

Federal laboratories are encouraged to make their inventions available to private industry in order to benefit the nation’s economy. One T2 method is the licensing of patents or patent applications which enable a company to develop and sell new products based on government-funded inventions.  Other T2 mechanisms include the sharing of knowledge, expertise, facilities, equipment, and other resources through a variety of agreements. Currently, NSWC Crane has 19 active Patent License Agreements (PLAs), 36 active Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), and 97 other agreements with private industry partners and academic institutions.

"The T2 program has opened the door to technological partnerships as well as research and development that align directly with the NSWC Crane mission,” said CAPT Elder, Commanding Officer of NSWC Crane. “The growth of the T2 program over the last couple of years is providing us a glimpse of game changing technical advancements that we would not be aware of otherwise."

The 2016 report “National Economic Impacts from DoD License Agreements with U.S. Industry” quantified the overall contributions of the Department of Defense (DoD) license agreements to the nation’s economy and defense mission from 2000-2014.

TechLink, a DoD partnership intermediary, conducted a study that surveyed 602 companies with active DoD license agreements between 2000 and 2014. TechLink gathered information about commercial and US military sales and other economic impacts related to the agreements. Of the 602 companies surveyed, 92 percent provided information for the report, resulting in a robust and thorough overview of the landscape. For more information, the full report can be found here: http://techlinkcenter.org/articles/2016-report-economic-impact-dod-licensing-2000-2014.

For all licenses active between 2000 and 2014, NSWC Crane contributed to the Total Economy-Wide Impact in the amount of $34 million in output and $16 million in value added. Output includes the total value of purchases by consumer products containing government licensed technologies. Value added is the difference between sale price of a product and the cost to produce the product. 

NSWC Crane’s license agreements resulted in 138 jobs created or retained and $9 million in labor income, with an average wage of $64,696 per job. As a comparison, the Indiana annual mean wage in 2015 was $42,070 as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Since the end of 2014, NSWC Crane has added 10 additional PLAs to its portfolio. Of these licenses, seven are with companies in the state of Indiana. The newest licensees include 5D Analytics, LLC (Bedford), Somatic Systems, LLC (Jasper), and Scientia, LLC (Bloomington). These three companies feature current and former NSWC Crane employees that have taken advantage of the T2 mechanisms to license technology they helped invent -- or technology they were inspired to use -- to create commercial products.

NSWC Crane’s three newest license agreements are perfect examples of why the T2 Office has been so successful in the seven years since its creation. NSWC Crane’s T2 Office is innovative and forward-looking in that it gives its current and former employees entrepreneurial opportunities using IP they already know.

The most recently signed PLA is with Scientia, LLC. Scientia is a small business specializing in advanced military system support, software engineering and related technical services. As former federal employees, they work with NSWC Crane as specialists and have a finger on the pulse of the commercial industry in the area of surveillance and security systems. As valued partners to NSWC Crane, they have licensed a patent application for a video management system for use in the commercial market. Scientia is building on federal technologies to improve the information technology industry in Indiana.

Another recent PLA with a company working in the field of information technology is with 5D Analytics, LLC. 5D Analytics is a small business that is owned and operated by Wes Evans. Evans is a co-inventor on patented program management software and has since retired from civil service. He has licensed the rights to the work he did as a federal employee for the purposes of updating the software and applying it to the fields of academia and small business.

An additional Indiana-based PLA licensing partner is Somatic Systems, LLC. Somatic Systems is the small business brainchild of a group of current and former NSWC Crane employees who became interested in “SmartSkin” technology after a group of University of Southern Indiana students completed a summer project showing the commercial applications of the technology.

“SmartSkin” is a reference to a group of related patents initially developed to provide a “skin” to a vehicle, capable of sensing damage and reporting back to the vehicle’s operators without the need to put them in harm’s way to assess the damage. Somatic Systems intends to use the licensed technology for medical devices that will aid in the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers and bed sores, and for patient fall detection. Somatic Systems’ products will contribute to Indiana’s robust medical device and biomedical industries while creating jobs and revenue for the state.

"The NSWC Crane T2 program has and will continue to contribute to the economic development of Indiana and the U.S., said Brooke Pyne, NSWC Crane’s T2 manager. “As a federal laboratory with extensive shareable assets that includes a young patent portfolio as well as a plethora of resources and facilities, NSWC Crane is a valuable technology partner in the state of Indiana.”

For more information on partnering with NSWC Crane or available resources, please contact the Technology Transfer Office.

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi-spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today’s warfighter.

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