News | Feb 5, 2018

Navy engineers offer businesses rapid access to inventions

TechLink helps Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Indiana, speed tech transfer through ‘express licensing’

News Article Image of Navy engineers offer businesses rapid access to inventions

Navy special operation forces simulate a hot extraction. The Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division, which supports warfighters by engineering new equipment, is speeding transfer of its technology to the private sector with express licensing. (Leah Tolbert/Navy)

The prolific engineers working at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC Crane) in Crane, Indiana, want to simplify the patent licensing process, a precursor to seeing their technologies developed into products by industry partners.

And on Monday, Brooke Pyne, NSWC Crane’s technology transfer program manager, announced that “express licensing” was available on 59 inventions with upfront financial terms.

That means businesses can now shop the lab’s patent portfolio and apply for a patent license agreement online with the added knowledge of the license’s financial terms.

The warfare center in Indiana is a federal laboratory well-known for its work on specialized weapons, optics, and high tech lasers, but among the newly-listed technologies are some with obvious non-military applications, like the smart battery charger, which Navy engineers invented to recharge multiple lithium batteries of varying size without overcharging.

The patent license for the charger costs $2,000.

Brooke Pyne is the technology transfer program manager at NSWC Crane.

“The goal is to make the patent license process faster and easier for small and medium-sized businesses,” said Pyne, whose is already managing 15 active patent license agreements with industry partners.

Federally funded defense labs and warfare centers across the United States, and the scientists and engineers working inside, are continually inventing new technology. Once disclosed, often through a patent, they are available to businesses for development of new products or services.

Cutting-edge plastics, antennas, and other inventions by the military, often with easy-to-imagine civilian uses, have become lucrative product markets over the years ­– GPS navigation chief among them.

TechLink, the Department of Defense’s national “partnership intermediary,” has previously assisted two Army and two Navy laboratories in establishing express licensing portals on its website at TechLinkCenter.org.

“The military employs some of the best scientists and engineers in the world,” said Sean Patten, TechLink’s liaison with the Navy center. “A few companies know how to leverage Navy R&D, but with express licensing, we’re helping Crane find even more business partners.”

Troy Carter can be reached at troy.carter@montana.edu or 406-994-7798.

Headshot Image of Sean Patten, CLP

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