June 26, 2018
SAN DIEGO - Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division’s (NSWC Crane) Technology Transfer (T2) team won the renowned Department of Defense (DOD) George Linsteadt Technology Transfer Achievement Award. The award celebrates DOD Technology Transfer professionals who have been influential in building and implementing T2 partnerships that transfer technology in or out of the labs, as well as promoting technology commercialization and the licensing of federally developed technology. NSWC Crane’s T2 team works to leverage the U.S. Navy’s entire suite of partnership capabilities to support the lab’s mission and to interact with academia, commercial entities and state and local governments.
The T2 team consists of Brooke Pyne, Jenna Dix, Kelly Stephens and Annie Bullock. Pyne, an expert in government partnership agreements like Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), and Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA), leads the team. Jenna Dix, the T2 Agreements Administrator, has expertise in the various T2 partnerships and manages the agreement portfolio for the lab. Kelly Stephens has expertise in SBIR and local economic development and Annie Bullock provides expertize in intellectual property and analyzes inventions from the lab to determines their use in the T2 program.
NSWC Crane partners with industry and academic institutions across the nation, but has a particularly strong relationship with its regional academic partners. Crane leverages such partners to not only meet its T2 objectives, but also to enhance workforce development opportunities, impact local economic development, and further its research and development (R&D) endeavors. Such efforts are supported by partners like Indiana University (IU), Purdue University, Purdue Research Foundation (PRF), and University of Southern Indiana (USI), among others.
"T2 is a program that fosters internal and external engagement," said Pyne. "The impact of the program continues to grow and the results are very rewarding. Whether it is working with entrepreneurs that are interested in commercializing federal technology or a researcher that is collaborating with academia on warfighter-driven technology requirements, T2 has it all. The ability to influence such interactions and witness their impact is truly amazing.”
Over the last three years, the T2 program has grown immensely as the lab’s scientists and engineers are exposed to the value it provides. Since FY14, active T2 partnerships have increased 111 percent the patent portfolio has grown approximately 60 percent. Additionally, it has been a goal of the T2 team to maximize the use of CRADA agreements, and the team has worked hard to communicate their value to the workforce. In FY14, there were only 12 CRADA partnerships being utilized. Today, there are 111.
“Leveraging peers in industry and academia maximizes the value of our R&D investments,” said Dix. “Enabling our technical workforce to efficiently and effectively partner provides greater opportunity for success in developing critical technologies to meet mission requirements.”
The T2 program plays a significant role in the expansion of the innovation ecosystem that is being cultivated outside the lab’s gates. “T2 is a critical enabler”, said Pyne, “The strategic T2 partnerships that create the nucleus of the ecosystem provide crucial technology advancements that allow Crane to rapidly provide solutions and game changing technology to the warfighter”. Dr. Brett Seidle (SES), Technical Director of NSWC Crane offered similar sentiments stating “Optimal and maximum utilization of the T2 statutes, authorities and policies have allowed Crane to create a tool box of strategically aligned innovation network and partnerships”.
The cornerstone of their success, however, is their ability to come together as a team to enable NSWC Crane to utilize T2 to its maximum extent. “The entire T2 team understands the impact that T2 can have on the mission and each one of us is dedicated to doing our very best to support our lab in an impactful way”, said Dix. Such efforts are certainly evidenced by the receipt of this celebrated award.
Pyne echoed, stating, "This award is special for me, in that it is a reflection of the phenomenal team that we have. A team that creates and fosters an open and collaborative environment, that accepts and innovates when faced with a challenge, and is constantly thinking out of the box and blazing new trails in technology transfer. All while surpassing each of the programmatic goals we set each year. I can't say enough great things about this team and this award is a testament to that."