An inroad with NASA can't be a bad thing for region's tech sector

By: Steve Monday September 17, 2012 Tags: Dave Lung, Diana Hoyt, Joe Shaw, NASA, Ray Lugo

The city of Loveland's Innovation and Technology Showcase held Sept. 5 revealed just how strong a connection the city has made with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The city hired Dave Lung, founder of Longmont-based DA2 Consulting, to help guide its Technology Transfer Initiative aimed at assisting local tech companies in commercializing their products and services.

Lung, a former Air Force officer, had connections to NASA and other federal agencies, so it seemed there might be a substantial possibility that his connections could pay off for Loveland in a big way.

That possibility became much more real when the Innovation and Technology Showcase hosted nine NASA officials, including Ray Lugo, director of NASA's John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Lugo was joined by Diana Hoyt, NASA's program executive for strategic partnerships and national technology initiatives in the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA's Washington, D.C. headquarters.

Hoyt told an audience at the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology - the former Agilent campus - that a new NASA policy allows a private sector company to obtain a free research license for available NASA technology and hold that license for up to a year to see if it can be commercialized.

Also attending the event was Joe Shaw, NASA's deputy director of the Office of Technology Partnerships and Planning at the Glenn Center.

While all of the NASA officials were encouraging in their remarks to the Loveland tech community about possible commercialization partnerships, none was more encouraging than Shaw.

"We are committed to establishing relationships in Colorado," Shaw said. "It's so important for us to have a presence here."

Shaw said the Obama administration has directed NASA to step up its efforts to transfer research conducted at its 10 nationwide facilities and make that research available for commercialization through private tech companies.

That is a statement that should be music to the ears of the region's tech entrepreneurs and established companies.

Because cementing these developing connections between Northern Colorado's tech sector and NASA will surely be a win-win for everyone.



About the Author: Steve