Chapter I Strategy and Overview
Army Science and Technology Master Plan (ASTMP 1997)

6. Technology Transfer

Technology Transfer covers all interactions with external organizations, whether transferring technology into or out of the S&T program. It should be distinguished from Technology Transition, which deals with the maturing of technology within the S&T program and transitioning it to development (6.4 or 6.5 programs). The Army continuously monitors new commercial developments looking for military applications. This "spin-on" of technology is of growing importance to the Army S&T program--not only from the domestic R&D programs but also from development overseas. Conversely, where military R&D is in the lead (e.g., rotorcraft, night vision, propulsion) technology transfer to commercial uses is actively pursued. Technology transfer is also made easier by the growing DoD adoption of commercial products, practices, and processes, and by the DoD Reliance initiative.

Figure I-16. Dual-Use Technology

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The NAC is located at the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, Warren, Michigan, and serves to facilitate the transfer of dual use automotive technologies from the commercial sector to the military and vice versa.

Figure I-17. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Process (<500 employees)
  • Three Phase Program
    - Phase I (Technical Feasibility, 6 Months, $100K Max)
    - Phase II (R&D Effort, 2 Years, $750K Max)
    - Phase III (Commercialization, No SBIR Funds Used)
  • DA Review/Selection Process
  • $90-100M/Year
  • Gaps Between Phase I and Phase II Efforts Reduced by SBIR Evaluation Board; Semi-Annual Transfer Offering Two Windows for Phase II Funding

Many Army science and technology programs are conducted jointly or in coordination with the Air Force, the Navy, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and other defense agencies assisted by Project Reliance. Other government agencies leveraged by the Army include the national laboratories of the Department of Energy (DoE), particularly for technologies such as directed energy and advanced materials; and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Outside the United States, the Army seeks potential opportunities to increase the effectiveness of technology development through the sharing of RDT&E resources with NATO and major non-NATO allies. These joint and interagency programs are discussed in Chapter VII, Technology Transfer.