Bringing NASA technology to small businesses

NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center (Photo: NASA)

Riverside Community College District’s (RCCD) TriTech Small Business Development Center is entering into an agreement with NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center to pilot a business model to spur economic development.

RCCD and NASA will sign the Space Act Agreement on April 17, marking the first time NASA has partnered with a community college district.

“The signing of the Space Act Agreement opens NASA’s doors to businesses and colleges,” said RCCD Chancellor Michael Burke.

The partnership is expected to help facilitate the technology transfer and commercialization of NASA technologies in Southern California. The agreement will allow the district’s development center to assist in opening new opportunities for area businesses.

“We are looking for businesses to apply our technologies and successfully commercialize NASA technology,” Armstrong’s Center Director David McBride said in a press release. The partnership will allow NASA to use the center’s economic development ties to reach a broader audience to do so.

A bridge for businesses

The agreement will grant TriTech SBDC the authority to be a liaison for licensing NASA research and for development technologies, which could spur business development and high-wage jobs in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego. TriTech will model technology-driven economic development strategies and models, and will assist in replicating the models nationwide.

Small and medium sized companies could start businesses outside of traditional aerospace industry by repurposing aerospace technologies such as information technology, materials science, sensor technologies and additive manufacturing, said TriTech SBSD Director Mark Mitchell.

TriTech signed a similar business development agreement with the U.S. Navy, leading to licensing of technologies through the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division. The Partnership Intermediary Agreement with the Navy was a model for the NASA agreement.

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