The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) has introduced an online express licensing portal for licensing select inventions to industry, featuring pre-negotiated pricing and standardized licensing terms.
Starting in June, entrepreneurs and business executives can shop the patented inventions online, like the Insulated Container for Cold Beverages, a high-tech ice chest that keeps water bottles cool for 56 hours in 100+ degree weather.
"The express licensing portal enhances the visibility of technologies that are valuable to the warfighter, but may have significant commercial applications, as well,"said Sheri Mennillo, the technology transfer manager at NSRDEC. The simplified online process featuring standardized terms reduces the uncertainty of the negotiation process, which may be particularly attractive to small business and entrepreneurs.
Established in the 1950s, the Army lab in Massachusetts employs over 400 scientists, engineers, technologists and equipment designers who develop innovative science and technology solutions to optimize the performance of soldiers. If soldiers wear it, eat it, sleep under it, or have it airdropped to them in theater, it can be traced back to NSRDEC.
Montana State University's TechLink hosts the portal on its website. TechLink is a national Department of Defense partner and the sole repository of all the patents owned by military laboratories.
In addition to the express licensing portal, TechLink's website allows the public to browse over 5,000 technologies developed and patented by military engineers and scientists. The organization's staff guides businesses through the patent licensing process and conducts economic impact studies.
"Natick Labs have some really cool inventions and this makes accessing them easier for companies," said Dan Swanson, TechLink's technology manager who works with the lab. "There are some great opportunities to do business with the military and leverage the government's investment in research."