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Subcommittee Expresses Concerns Over NASA Technology Transfer Success

July Hearing Echos NASA Inspector General Report

The House Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics held a hearing in July, "Spurring Economic Growth and Competitiveness Through NASA Derived Technologies." At the hearing, several members of Congress noted NASA's successful history of technology transfer and commercialization. Since 1976, NASA has more than 1,700 successful examples of technology transfer and commercialization. However, notwithstanding NASA's previous success, members of the subcommittee pointed to "concerning signs that NASA's technology transfer and commercialization efforts were sliding towards obsolescence."

A recent NASA Inspector General audit of NASA's technology and commercialization efforts concluded that NASA has "missed opportunities to transfer technologies and that industry and the public have not fully benefited from NASA-developed technologies." In addition, NASA's budget has remained relatively flat even as other research and development agencies are seeing healthy increases, and NASA'S technology transfer activities have seen a drastic decline in recent years. NASA Chief Technologist Dr. Mason Peck said NASA agreed with the Inspector General's findings and that it was making improvements to its program and process.

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