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NEWS | Oct. 26, 2020

NSWC Crane technologies assessed from across DoD for commercialization in NSIN’s Defense Innovation Accelerator

By Sarah K. Miller, NSWC Crane Corporate Communications

CRANE, Ind. – Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) had several technologies from its vast patent portfolio selected for the National Security Innovation Network’s (NSIN) Defense Innovation Accelerator (DIA) program. Currently, the program is in the second and final phase with its Demo Day scheduled for 3 December.

The NSIN DIA, powered by FedTech, leverages breakthrough technology to solve the real-world problems of the Department of Defense (DoD) and commercial customers.

Jenna Dix, the Technology Transfer Director at NSWC Crane, says this partnership with the NSIN DIA program is a great way to expand the use of Crane developed technology.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Crane,” says Dix. “The entrepreneurs participating are experienced and highly motivated and the Crane inventors of the technologies are eager to assist.” 

For the 2020 DIA program, one-third of the technologies selected were from NSWC Crane. For Phase I, eight Crane technologies were chosen from across research and development (R&D) laboratories in the DoD. Teams of entrepreneurs worked on these technologies to determine their market and commercial viability. Four of those teams passed judging at a Pitch Day event to Phase II.

Dix says this program is a unique opportunity to ensure maximum value from R&D investments.

“By participating in the DIA program, we’re increasing the likelihood that technologies sitting on our shelves make it into the hands of the warfighter,” says Dix, “while at the same time, supporting the U.S. economic base by working with entrepreneurs to bring this same tech into the commercial marketplace.”

During the 2020 DIA cohort, teams of entrepreneurs are working with cybersecurity and secure communications technology, autonomous systems, AI, VR and computer vision, sensors, and human performance tech.

One team in the DIA cohort working on Crane technology, called FORCYTE, is a purpose-built software platform that accurately calculates sending wireless power over long distances safely and efficiently. FORCYTE is working with NSWC Crane subject matter experts Corey Bergsrud and Alex Zellner. Since the cohort started in June, FORCYTE has licensed two technologies and entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with NSWC Crane.

The FORCYTE team has stated the program and working with the inventors has been beneficial.

“The highlight of the DIA program has been the great team and mentors. Additionally, the inventors and interviews have been tremendously helpful.”

The entrepreneurs on the FORCYTE team are interested in applying the technology to help the warfighter.

“What inspires us is the opportunity to advance a DoD technology that helps the warfighter and society improve access to energy over longer distances.”

About the NSIN DIA

The NSIN Defense Innovation Accelerator (DIA), powered by FedTech, pairs technology developed in Department of Defense (DoD) laboratories with those interested in starting a high-tech company. Teams of entrepreneurs are paired with knowledgeable instructors and mentors who have entrepreneurial experience and/or are experts in their field to guide the process. Working with top DoD research labs and inventors, teams will validate whether the technology can be commercialized to solve problems faced by the DoD and beyond. At the end of the cohort, teams will present labs with a market assessment report and may seek to form companies and license the technology.

NSIN builds a national network of innovators and delivers programming, like DIA, that solves real-world, DoD problems through collaborative partnerships with non-traditional problem-solvers within the academic and early-stage venture communities.

About NSWC Crane

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.

NSWC Crane’s Technology Transfer (T2) Program helps link federal research and development to academic institutions and businesses in the private sector. The NSWC Crane T2 program has partnerships with more than 100 businesses, individuals and universities, including approximately 200 active agreements.

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