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Federal Laboratory Consortium Selects 'Dahlgren Decon' for 2018 Excellence in Tech Transfer Award

By NSWC Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications | Feb. 6, 2018

DAHLGREN, Va. – The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) selected the Navy’s ‘Dahlgren Decon’ technology for a 2018 Excellence in Technology Transfer Award, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) announced, Feb. 2.

The FLC award – presented annually to employees from more than 300 federal laboratories for outstanding work in transferring federally developed technology – will be awarded to NSWCDD for the first time at the FLC national meeting in Philadelphia, Penn., April 25.

"This award represents a culmination of years of successful research and development activities, collaborations across the DOD (Department of Defense), and partnerships with academia and industry, resulting ultimately in increased capability in the hands of the warfighter,” said Kathleen Jones, NSWCDD chief technology officer. “It’s a stellar example of why Dahlgren is here. I could not be more proud of the efforts of our team."

Dahlgren Decon – a decontamination solution developed to defend warfighters against chemical, biological, and radiological agents – is protected under several patents by the Navy.

“This year, your laboratory is one of a select number of recipients, an indication that your nomination was truly of the highest caliber,” John Dement, FLC chair, and Donna Bialozor, FLC Awards Committee chair, wrote to Lorraine Harting, NSWCDD Office of Research and Technology Applications manager, in a Jan. 29, 2018 letter.

"We are honored to receive this prestigious national award from the Federal Laboratory Consortium," said Lorraine Harting, NSWCDD Office of Research and Technology Applications manager. "This technology transfer not only provides the decontamination product to warfighters off-the-shelf, it will also be incorporated into products supporting first responders and the general public."

FLC is the formally chartered, nationwide network of over 300 federal laboratories, agencies, and research centers that fosters commercialization best practice strategies and opportunities for accelerating federal technologies out of the labs and into the marketplace.

NSWCDD researchers worked for more than a decade to develop and test Dahlgren Decon as a revolutionary response to chemical and biological warfare agents.

"This is the 'home run' of technology transfer and doesn't happen without a lot of contributors," said Chris Hodge, NSWCDD scientist and Dahlgren Decon inventor. "Just about everybody in the branch (a NSWCDD chemical, biological and radiological defense group), plus collaborators in every service as well as industry and academia, contributed to make this happen. I'm thankful for their hard work and very proud to represent the team."

In July 2015, NSWCDD signed an exclusive patent license agreement with a Virginia-based small business, permitting it to manufacture the ‘Dahlgren Decon’ life-saving decontamination technology for warfighters and first responders worldwide.

"A lot of inventors from the Dahlgren side made a powerful decontaminant and now it's just a matter of getting it out to the market," said Amit Kapoor, president of First Line Technology, LLC, after signing the exclusive license agreement. "We want to bridge the gap and take it out to the first responders and help the warfighter, ensuring they have the best of the best."

In effect, NSWCDD worked through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements with First Line Technology – a disadvantaged and minority-owned small business and Solvay Chemicals, Inc., manufacturer of the active ingredient in the decontamination solution – to develop a transition plan for providing U.S. first responders with technology that defends the general public from hazardous threats.

The formulation has a variety of potential applications as a commercial antimicrobial or pesticide.

The Dahlgren Decon solution will neutralize a wide range of substances, from toxic industrial chemicals and materials to chemical warfare and biological agents. The new decontamination solution has a moderate pH and does not generate toxic byproducts.

Moreover, it's proven to be the most effective decontamination technology against chemical and biological agents. With a neutralization and kill time of just a few minutes, Dahlgren Decon is now the fastest reacting decontamination agent when compared to other commercial products on the market or in development.

Hodge ensured the peroxygen-based chemical and biological decontamination formulation is friendly to equipment, users, and the environment without sacrificing speed and efficacy.

Competing technologies are effective. However, many are either highly corrosive to equipment or require contact times as long as 30 minutes. In addition, most available solutions contain components that are harsh on equipment, users, and the environment.

Dahlgren Decon, extensively tested by Hodge and his team since 1999, minimizes those issues while maintaining high efficacy against a wide panel of chemical and biological threats.

"The solution is easy to use," Hodge points out. "The active ingredient ships as an easy-to-handle solid and stores wells. Activation is fast -- just add water. The active solution's peracid oxidizers tackle an array of targets in minutes without solvents and without sacrificing useable life once mixed."

A large body of data, including live-agent testing results, is available to support additional development efforts and registration filings.

This example of U.S. industry's capability to expand NSWCDD-developed technology reflects the Navy's technology transfer objective to actively share its dual-use technology, facilities, and expertise with the U.S. public and private sector, and incorporate into the Navy commercially available technology that supports mission-related needs.

“Through American taxpayers’ investment in our federal laboratories’ research and development efforts, scientific and technological breakthroughs can take place and return dividends to our economy,” according to the FLC website, https://www.federallabs.org. “The new industries, businesses, and jobs that can be created when a new technology is brought to market are just a few of the successes that take effect through technology transfer, and the FLC is here to promote, facilitate, and educate labs and industry about that process.”

NSWC Dahlgren Division is a premier research and development center that serves as a specialty site for weapon system integration. The command's unique ability to rapidly introduce new technology into complex warfighting systems is based on its longstanding competencies in science and technology, research and development, and test and evaluation.