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High technology: the glue between government and industry.

STEALTH FIGHTERS, LASER-GUIDed smart bombs, cruise missiles, and other weapons used in the Persian Gulf War demonstrated America's advanced national security technologies. Many of these advances are available to private industry and provide the basis for new security products and services.

New technological products and services can make history and be risky innovations at the same time. Companies that work with new technology generally experience longer lead times and higher product casualty rates. The outcomes of product and service development also become more unpredictable.

Today, major security developments published by the federal government and federal laboratories are more likely to be adopted first by foreign companies, which may have more resources than US companies to invest in medium- to long-range technology development programs.

As foreign companies begin to compete in the US and world security markets, transferring security technology from the government to the private sector takes on new dimensions. Growing industry and public awareness have prompted efforts to improve the United States' competitiveness. This competitiveness is enhanced by the national laboratories' support of the US private security industry.

Cooperative partnerships between the national laboratories and industry offer access to government-funded and developed security technology. This cooperation reduces the risk involved in developing a new product or service. Partnerships also provide American industries with a competitive edge in national and international markets. See the chart on the following page for a list of some of these benefits.

The National Competitiveness Technology Transfer Act of 1989 made technology transfer a mission of the national laboratories. At the 7th Joint Government-Industry Symposium and Exhibition on Security Technology in June 1991, Undersecretary of Energy John C. Tuck said, "We intend to |obtain~ the most leverage in the private sector from government-funded technologies relevant to security."

Sandia National Laboratories is the US Department of Energy's (DoE) lead laboratory in physical security research and development. The DoE has invested more than $200 million since 1975 in developing a state-of-the-art security technology base at Sandia to support DoE facilities. Sandia is a multiprogram engineering laboratory that AT&T has operated for DoE on a no-profit, no-fee basis since 1949.

Under the Technology Transfer Act, Sandia can provide US private industry access to all nonsensitive aspects of the DoE-funded physical security technology base. Possible working relationships between private industry and Sandia include the following:

* cooperative research and development agreements (CRADA)

* license agreements

* exclusive or nonexclusive license for patent technology

* exclusive or nonexclusive license for copyright computer technology

* research license

* test and evaluation license for software

* some reimbursable work-for-others agreements

* scientific user facility agreements

* industry-laboratory personnel exchanges

* loaned or borrowed property

A reimbursable work-for-others agreement is the work by Sandia alone in return for payment rather than a joint effort with other parties.

Scientific user facility agreements allow public and private use of federal laboratory facilities. Industry may use these facilities either on a nonproprietary basis, where it agrees to publish all results, or on a proprietary basis, where proprietary data may be protected. In the former case, no charge is made to the company. In the latter case, full cost-recovery charges are applied.

Through a DoE-sponsored industry-laboratory personnel exchange program, Sandia hosts scientists and engineers from industry to study new technologies, knowledge, and expertise developed at Sandia.

Sandia may loan or borrow property on a one-time, no-charge basis for the mutual benefit of Sandia and the receiving party.

A sampling of the technologies, expertise, applications, and support facilities that Sandia can offer private industry through technology transfer is shown in the accompanying table.

An important provision of the Technology Transfer Act deals with federal laboratories involved in cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) with private industry. Laboratories can negotiate licensing agreements and delay publishing commercially valuable information developed under the agreements for up to five years.

Information and innovations developed through a CRADA can also be protected from disclosure and may not be subject to access--by a CRADA participant's competitors, for example--even under the Freedom of Information Act. The government has waived its ownership rights to technologies developed under a CRADA.

Manufacturers, installers, service providers, and consultants are encouraged to consider the many opportunities available through Sandia's security technology transfer program.

Charles E. Meyers is manager of security technology transfer at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Meyers, Charles E.
Publication:Security Management
Date:Sep 1, 1992
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