For the first time, the newly formed Center for Technology, Research and Commercialization — a nonprofit that is part of the Catalyst Campus — is hosting a “Tech 2 Market” event from Sept. 27-29.
The interactive event gives participants the chance to learn about developing technologies and weigh in on ways the inventions can be used in both the government and private sectors. Since many of the technologies are not yet patented, participants will have to sign a nondisclosure agreement, said Erin Miller, managing director at C-TRAC.
Innovation Discovery is the brainchild of TechLink, a nonprofit group that aids the Department of Defense in moving inventions from the laboratory to the private sector, creating avenues for the technologies to be used by the government. The organization has worked with the Air Force Academy, and has done work with most DoD-sponsored research-and-development arms. Since 2000, agreements fostered by TechLink have generated roughly $1.5 billion sales and $4 billion in economic impact.
In Colorado Springs, companies will have the opportunity to hear about innovations that are in the patenting process, and will include panels of engineers and innovative thinkers to discuss ways the technologies can be used in commercial enterprise.
The program is free, but is limited to 40 people for the technology innovation discussions, 80 people for a cocktail hour and 80 people for a technology-transfer-focused event on the final day.
“Colorado Springs companies positioned to build products for commercial or government use will want to see the technologies available for license from the US Air Force,” Miller said. “The tech we will feature at this event just scratches the surface to reveal a select few of the technologies being developed in federal laboratories that are available for use by companies.”
The three-day event is C-TRAC’s first foray into bringing Air Force-patented technology to the community, she said. It’s important to the business community because it will allow them to see firsthand what up-and-coming technologies are available in Air Force research labs and give them an idea of how they can use them to expand their business footprint with the DoD.
“Any Colorado Springs company will be very interested to learn about Air Force technology as it relates to aerospace and defense,” she said. “Many are available for transfer and licensing.”
Broadly, the discovery event will feature space vehicles, cybersecurity and chemistry research from the Air Force Academy.
The Innovation Discovery process works like this: Engineers and inventors present their technology and then participants discuss ways the technology can be used in the private sector. Often, different uses are available that the one originally envisioned by the inventor.
“We’re keeping the technologies intentionally vague,” Miller said. “We don’t want people thinking about what they could do with the technology, we want them to work creatively within the team.”
On day three, Sept. 29, the Southern Colorado Technology Alliance will host a workshop that includes discussions about how to integrate tech-transfer and development into business development and target marketing, how to learn about government requirements how to increase profits under DoD research and development contracts and how to gain competitive advantages through “sought responses, customer-focused proposals and capacity briefings.”
The event is sponsored by the Air Force and Rim Technologies.
The teams at C-TRAC and SCTA offer a wide range of services and valuable connections to make tech transfer more accessible.
“The partnership between SCTA and C-TRAC offers member companies more choices than ever to discover technologies that enhance and enlarge their competitive advantage in the marketplace,” said Don Kidd, executive director of the SCTA. “We intend to not only help them discover those technologies, but to obtain them and find appropriate opportunities in which to leverage them. This event signals the start of a series of just such efforts to deliver emerging, leading-edge technologies to companies right here in Southern Colorado.”