Resource Report:
NASA's Commercial Technology Network

One of the most successful examples of technology transfer originated about 20 years ago, when the U.S. Department of Defense began developing a high-speed computer network to connect military installations with key university researchers and set the foundation for the Internet. Today, the Internet is fueling an explosive growth in online services and Web sites, and is changing the way industry and government do business.

Recognizing the Internet's potential, NASA established the use of Internet technologies in 1994 as a core strategy of NASA's Agenda for Change -a blueprint for facilitating the transfer and commercialization of its technology. Today, the online NASA Commercial Technology Network (NCTN) serves as an integrated information resource for research and technology, patents, technical advice, and R&D facilities, as well as for partnering, licensing, and commercialization opportunities. The network of Web sites is developing into an electronic marketplace for NASA-sponsored technologies, facilitating communication and partnerships between NASA and industry. The NASA team also has sought to add value to the network by partnering with organizations such as NASA Tech Briefs.


The NCTN core web site - is operated by the NASA Headquarters' Commercial Development and Technology Transfer Division. The site provides links to key databases and serves as a gateway to more than 25 sites operated by and affiliated with the NASA Commercial Technology Program's national network of organizations and services. Included in the network are the ten NASA field centers, the six Regional Technology Transfer Centers, the National Technology Transfer Center,NASA Tech Briefs, and other organizations dedicated to fostering dual-use partnerships and technology transfer. The following options are available:

Orientation - Provides a short description of the site.

Spotlight News Highlights current NASA technology opportunities and featured web sites.

Search Tools - Provides search options to explore the core site, all NCTN sites, and the NASA domain. Directory - Links to the member sites of the network and to personnel directories. Technology Resources - Includes searchable publications and databases that provide current and archived information on NASA research, technology, and capabilities.

Small Business/SBIR - Describes how NASA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program provides funding to U.S. small businesses to develop dual-use innovations that address NASA R&D objectives and have commercial applications. The SBIR/STTR site provides information on the SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, including solicitations for proposals, searchable archives of past awards, success stories, hot news, assistance, and program information. The site also features the SBIR Mall, which provides links to firms which have been awarded NASA SBIR contracts, and is intended to serve as a resource for locating technology partners. Tens of thousands of hits per week are logged when the program awards and solicitations are announced.

Success! - Includes links to the NASA Spinoff publication and searchable databases of past and current cases of successful NASA technology transfer and commercialization. In addition, current and past issues of Aerospace Technology Innovation, a bi-monthly publication of the Commercial Development and Technology Transfer Division at NASA Headquarters, can be browsed and/or searched for information on NASA projects and opportunities in technology transfer/commercialization, aerospace technology development, and the commercial development of space. Visitors also can access TechTracS, a database of NASA programs and technologies that may have commercial potential.
According to Jonathan Root, who heads NASA's Commercial Technology Program's Electronic Commerce team developing the network, the NCTN has drawn interest from researchers, entrepreneurs, industries, students, and universities throughout the U.S. and worldwide. The site (combined with the related SBIR site) currently is averaging about 50,000 hits per week and recently generated a high of 115,000 hits in one week.

New on the Network

A new service, DirectSERVE, will be accessible later this year through the NCTN core site to help users locate the resources and services across NASA's national network that provide technology transfer and commercialization assistance. This database-driven web application will provide searchable profiles of more than 100 services and organizations associated with the NASA Commercial Technology Network. DirectSERVE will enhance the Directory and Search tools currently offered at the core NCTN site. A new fun feature is the NCTN screen saver, which can be downloaded in a Macintosh version (the Windows version is coming soon), or viewed as a Shockwave animation. Incorporating various space-related and spinoff images, the screen saver is appropriately titled, "Unlock Your Imagination."

Bookmark These NASA Tech Transfer Sites

Main Site

Field Centers

Ames Research Center:
Dryden Flight Research Center:
Goddard Space Flight Center:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory:
Johnson Space Center:
Kennedy Space Center:
Langley Research Center:
Glenn Research Center:
Marshall Space Flight Center:
Stennis Space Center:

National Technology Transfer Center (NTTC)

Regional Technology Transfer Centers (RTTCs)

Far West RTTC:
Mid-Continent RTTC:
Southeast RTTC:
Mid-West RTTC:
Mid-Atlantic RTTC:
Northeast RTTC: