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Introduction

Technology transfer from the federal defense sector to the domestic nonmilitary sector is a goal supported by several administrations and mandated by more than a decade of legislation (Appendix C). The use of military technology for nonmilitary needs (i.e., defense conversion), and the development of new military technologies in conjunction with industry for joint benefit (i.e., dual use) can provide cost savings and improve efficiency both in the Department of Defense (DOD) and in the private nonmilitary sector. Savings from reducing the size of the military could then be used to stimulate the U.S. economy (Naval Research Advisory Committee, 1993). The Clinton administration supports a technology policy intended to strengthen U.S. industrial competitiveness, create high-quality jobs, coordinate management of technology across all government agencies, create partnerships between the public and private sectors, and redirect the nation’ s technical resources to civilian uses (Naval Research Advisory Committee, 1993).

The purpose of the DOD domestic technology transfer policy, as stated in DOD Report 3200.12-R-4, is “to achieve the maximum national benefit from DOD scientific and technical efforts” (DOD, 1988). Report 3200.12-R-4 lists several policy statements supporting this goal:

  1. Encourage the dissemination of scientific and technical information, data and know-how developed by or for the Department of Defense to State and local governments and to the private sector, consistent with the requirements of U.S. national security.

  2. Promote the sharing of technology that fosters the advance of science or that has commercial potential and thus should be employed to best advantage for the security and socioeconomic well-being of the United States.



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Expanding the Uses of Naval Ocean Science and Technology 1 Introduction Technology transfer from the federal defense sector to the domestic nonmilitary sector is a goal supported by several administrations and mandated by more than a decade of legislation (Appendix C). The use of military technology for nonmilitary needs (i.e., defense conversion), and the development of new military technologies in conjunction with industry for joint benefit (i.e., dual use) can provide cost savings and improve efficiency both in the Department of Defense (DOD) and in the private nonmilitary sector. Savings from reducing the size of the military could then be used to stimulate the U.S. economy (Naval Research Advisory Committee, 1993). The Clinton administration supports a technology policy intended to strengthen U.S. industrial competitiveness, create high-quality jobs, coordinate management of technology across all government agencies, create partnerships between the public and private sectors, and redirect the nation’ s technical resources to civilian uses (Naval Research Advisory Committee, 1993). The purpose of the DOD domestic technology transfer policy, as stated in DOD Report 3200.12-R-4, is “to achieve the maximum national benefit from DOD scientific and technical efforts” (DOD, 1988). Report 3200.12-R-4 lists several policy statements supporting this goal: Encourage the dissemination of scientific and technical information, data and know-how developed by or for the Department of Defense to State and local governments and to the private sector, consistent with the requirements of U.S. national security. Promote the sharing of technology that fosters the advance of science or that has commercial potential and thus should be employed to best advantage for the security and socioeconomic well-being of the United States.

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Expanding the Uses of Naval Ocean Science and Technology Support coordination between the industrial, academic, and Government R&D (research and development) activities of the United States by cooperating in the sharing of plans for future research efforts and the sharing of facilities as appropriate. Support cooperative efforts to stimulate industrial innovation, especially in small businesses. Support and encourage the exchange of scientific and technical personnel among academic, industry, and the DOD laboratories. Support the domestic technology transfer process as an integral part of the R&D effort and incorporate domestic technology transfer objectives into the mission of each appropriate R&D activity. Encourage domestic technology transfer in the work place through its recognition in position descriptions, in promotion policies, in monetary awards, and in performance evaluations for appropriate scientific and engineering personnel. Ensure that R&D activities have at least one full-time equivalent position responsible for performing the functions of an Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA) at any activity having over 200 full-time equivalent professional scientific, engineering and related technical personnel. A full-time position for any activity with less that 200 professional scientific and engineering personnel is optional. Ensure that domestic technology transfer functions do not compete substantially with similar services available in the private sector. Ensure that the Domestic Technology Transfer Program does not conflict with export control regulations, policies governing militarily critical technology, policy requirements of recouping DOD nonrecurring costs, or any of the responsibilities and procedures for technology transfer control in DOD Directives, Instructions, and publications . . . . Identify and encourage persons to act as conduits between and among Federal laboratories, universities, and the private sector for the transfer of technology developed from federally funded R&D efforts. Ensure that State and local governments, universities and the private sector are provided with information on the technology, expertise, and facilities available in Federal laboratories. Source: Department of Defense (1988). To ensure that these 12 policies are carried out and to comply with Public Law 96-480, DOD 3200.12-R-4 required that 0.5 percent of the total research and development (R&D) budget for each DOD budget component be used to promote domestic technology transfer (DOD, 1988). DOD 3200.12-R-4 also stated that a waiver could be obtained from Congress at the time of budget submission if alternative methods of conducting technology transfer were provided. Subsequent changes to this provision were affected by enactment of Public Law 101-189, which substituted language referring to any specific level of funding expressed as a percentage of the R&D budget with “each Federal agency which

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Expanding the Uses of Naval Ocean Science and Technology operates or directs one or more Federal Laboratories shall make available sufficient funding . . . to support” technology transfer. The level of funding actually committed to facilitating technology transfer is therefore variable and is one indicator of the Navy’s commitment to accomplish this important goal on a year-to-year basis. Despite enactment of legislation and programs to encourage and even mandate technology transfer, the defense industry as a whole has not had a high success rate in defense conversion (Naval Research Advisory Committee, 1993). The most successful technology transfer efforts have involved aerostructures, as the needs of the commercial aerospace market are similar to those of the defense market. In areas without such a clear link to defense, there has been less success in transferring technology (Naval Research Advisory Committee, 1993). Most marine industries fall into the latter group. Information about the needs of the private marine sector does not commonly reach the Navy’s primary producer and sponsor of marine R&D, the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Likewise, information about marine technologies currently available and under development at ONR is not adequately conveyed to nonmilitary interests. This lack of two-way communication, matching the “solutions” that potentially exist at ONR with the “problems” of the marine industry in the nonmilitary sector, forms a major impediment to effective technology transfer. In response to a request from the Office of Naval Research (Appendix A), the Ocean Studies Board (OSB) of the National Research Council (NRC) formed the Committee on Alternative Uses of Naval Technology. The committee was requested to produce a report detailing (1) how ONR now interacts with industry, (2) how those avenues of interaction may be improved, and (3) future areas of technology research that may be appropriate for ONR to pursue, which might have applications to interests outside the Navy. The committee did not discuss specific areas of future basic research for ONR to pursue because the OSB has provided such advice in more than 12 recent reports to ONR (e.g., NRC, 1991, 1992a,b, 1993a,b,c,d,e, 1994). The committee focused its efforts on establishing the future technology needs of a major segment of the nonmilitary, industrial sector. The phrase “ocean science and technology development” is used throughout this report to denote hardware, software, patents (in process and issued), as well as scientific research and resultant knowledge. Members of the committee have considerable knowledge of marine science and technology issues (Appendix B). The committee invited several ONR researchers, as well as representatives of key marine industries, to present their perspectives on the status of marine research and technology transfer. Three meetings were held to provide a forum for this exchange of information. The first meeting included presentations by ONR personnel regarding marine technologies currently available and under development. The second meeting assembled representatives of several marine industries and agencies to give their views on technology needs in the near future and the current status of ONR technology

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Expanding the Uses of Naval Ocean Science and Technology transfer efforts. The final meeting focused on information exchange by means of electronic databases. From these discussions the committee formulated four findings with corresponding recommendations. Chapter 2 presents an overview of areas of marine technology development within ONR. Chapter 3 examines existing technology transfer programs in ONR and elsewhere in the federal government. Chapter 4 discusses present and future needs of several marine industries and evaluates the potential for ONR programs, outlined in Chapter 2, to address those needs. Processes and approaches to improve technology transfer within ONR are discussed in Chapter 5. Chapter 6 presents the committee’s findings and recommendations.