Award

2005 Millimeter wave holographic body scanner Far West

The transfer of the Millimeter WaveHolographic Body Scanner to the commercialsector has been a success for Pacific NorthwestNational Laboratory (PNNL) and for the twocompanies that have licensed the technology.In security applications, the body scannerdetects any item worn in or under clothing,including plastics and ceramics, withoutexposing the body to ionizing radiation. Noother scanner is as safe, as thorough, or hasthe capability to detect the broad array of itemsthat might be concealed under clothing. Thisdevice brings a new level of safety to airportsand other public places where terrorists mighttry to use weapons. But not only is the scannerbeing used for security purposes, as originallyenvisioned, it is quickly achieving success inthe apparel industry, where it is being used byseveral nationwide clothing chains todetermine customers’ exact measurements for aperfect fit. This scanner provides dozens ofprecise measurements in less than 10 secondswhile the person remains dressed in their ownclothing. This is a significant advancement incomfort, time, and precision over previousmeasurement devices. This technology hasthus had a widespread impact in two diverseindustries and holds promise for many others as well.The PNNL team demonstrated extensivecreativity and experience in their research anddevelopment of testing and measurementequipment. Their efforts resulted in a 2004 R&D100 Award recognizing the 100 mosttechnologically significant products andadvancements in the world. They saw thecommercial possibilities of the Millimeter WaveHolographic Body Scanner and filed inventionreports and patent applications. Theycompleted a business plan, researchedpotential customers, and contacted them. Thisdirect marketing campaign to companies in thesecurity field brought visitors from around theworld to PNNL to see the technologydemonstrated. An aggressive marketingcampaign was launched, advertisements wereplaced in Commerce Business Daily, and awebsite was created. The commercializationteam performed market and competitiveanalyses and established a value chain.The vigorous marketing and business analysisby the PNNL commercialization team hassuccessfully licensed the technology andestablished commercial partnerships with twonew and growing companies. The scanner hasbeen featured in many well-knownpublications and on national television.Several scanners are now being used by majorclothing chains, and many more have beenordered. The device is now being producedand marketed for both security and apparelapplications in this country and in Europe.This is indeed technology transfer at its best.
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Far West