2
Introduction

This chapter describes of the state of space technology and space exploration policy at the time of the workshop’s planning and actual convening. It also includes information on the organization of the workshop and the opening remarks at the workshop by the sponsor and committee members.

CONTEXT FOR THE WORKSHOP

On January 14, 2004, President George W. Bush announced a new national vision for space exploration.1 This new vision provides a set of goals in human and robotic exploration that can be used to create and manage technology development timelines and investments. To better focus its work on the new vision,2 NASA has reorganized its programs in space exploration. The reorganization included establishment of the Office of Exploration Systems “to set priorities and direct the identification, development, and validation of exploration systems and related technologies.”3 NASA’s Innovative Technology Transfer Partnership Program was moved from the Aeronautics Enterprise to the new Office of Exploration Systems in the hopes of using existing programs that encourage government cooperation with other stakeholders. NASA has also established a series of prizes for technology development—the Centennial Challenges—to harvest new technology and use it in the space exploration program.4 (The steering committee chose not to include this topic in the workshop’s discussion since NASA already has a program

1  

George W. Bush. 2004. “A Renewed Spirit of Discovery: The President’s Vision for U.S. Space Exploration.” Presented to the nation at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C., on January 14, 2004. Available online at <http://www.whitehouse.gov/space/renewed_spirit.html>. Accessed on May 5, 2004.

2  

NASA. 2004. The Vision for Space Exploration, February.

3  

NASA. 2004. “NASA Announces New Headquarters Management Alignment.” Press release. January 15.

4  

Further information on the Centennial Challenges program can be found at <http://centennialchallenge.nasa.gov/>. Accessed September 10, 2004.



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Government/Industry/Academic Relationships for Technology Development: A Workshop Report 2 Introduction This chapter describes of the state of space technology and space exploration policy at the time of the workshop’s planning and actual convening. It also includes information on the organization of the workshop and the opening remarks at the workshop by the sponsor and committee members. CONTEXT FOR THE WORKSHOP On January 14, 2004, President George W. Bush announced a new national vision for space exploration.1 This new vision provides a set of goals in human and robotic exploration that can be used to create and manage technology development timelines and investments. To better focus its work on the new vision,2 NASA has reorganized its programs in space exploration. The reorganization included establishment of the Office of Exploration Systems “to set priorities and direct the identification, development, and validation of exploration systems and related technologies.”3 NASA’s Innovative Technology Transfer Partnership Program was moved from the Aeronautics Enterprise to the new Office of Exploration Systems in the hopes of using existing programs that encourage government cooperation with other stakeholders. NASA has also established a series of prizes for technology development—the Centennial Challenges—to harvest new technology and use it in the space exploration program.4 (The steering committee chose not to include this topic in the workshop’s discussion since NASA already has a program 1   George W. Bush. 2004. “A Renewed Spirit of Discovery: The President’s Vision for U.S. Space Exploration.” Presented to the nation at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C., on January 14, 2004. Available online at <http://www.whitehouse.gov/space/renewed_spirit.html>. Accessed on May 5, 2004. 2   NASA. 2004. The Vision for Space Exploration, February. 3   NASA. 2004. “NASA Announces New Headquarters Management Alignment.” Press release. January 15. 4   Further information on the Centennial Challenges program can be found at <http://centennialchallenge.nasa.gov/>. Accessed September 10, 2004.

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Government/Industry/Academic Relationships for Technology Development: A Workshop Report under way and recently conducted a workshop focused on the Centennial Challenges program). Subsequently, on January 30, 2004, President Bush created, by executive order, the President's Commission on Moon, Mars and Beyond (the Aldridge commission) to make recommendations to the administration regarding realization of the new vision and to advise NASA on issues related to long-term implementation of the vision.5 The Aldridge commission report discusses paradigms and relationships with external stakeholders, which the commission indicates must be developed by NASA in order for the vision to have long-term viability and success.6 In response to the Aldridge commission’s report, NASA again transformed its organizational structure on August 1, 2004.7 Before the President’s presentation of the new vision and the NASA reorganization and in parallel with the Aldridge commission’s work, the Office of Exploration Systems had tasked the National Academies with planning a series of workshops on policy issues related to the development of space technology. The first workshop8 centered on policy issues concerning the development and demonstration of space technologies, specifically those in a proposed new framework for space technology and systems development—Advanced Systems, Technologies, Research, and Analysis (ASTRA) for Future Space Flight Capabilities. The second workshop in the series was to focus on answering the following question: “What is the best mode of interaction between NASA, industry, and other stakeholders when developing and demonstrating advanced space systems?” This topic seemed appropriate in the context of the new vision and NASA’s reorganization. The seven-member NRC steering committee and the NASA technical sponsor agreed that focusing the discussions at the second workshop on examples of mechanisms for cooperation and on programs encouraging different types and levels of interaction among government, industry, and academia would be important in scoping the issue. The committee selected topics for discussion that would give NASA information on and ideas for developing new modes of interaction between its programs and other stakeholders, especially in long-term technology development and partnerships. Not all the examples involve space technology; some involve technology in general. The committee also chose not to include examples of collaborative programs within NASA. ORGANIZATION OF THE WORKSHOP The workshop agenda was divided into three sessions. The topic discussed at the first session was industry-government relationships at DARPA—in particular, the phased competition and spiral development mechanisms used in the UCAV program (Chapter 3). The second session examined various cooperative models used by the DOD, including 5   Executive Order Creating the Presidential Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy, January 30, 2004. 6   Aldridge Commission. 2004. Report of the President’s Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy: A Journey to Inspire, Innovate, and Discover. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, June. 7   NASA. 2004. “Administrator Unveils Next Steps of NASA Transformation Alignment.” Press release. June 24. 8   NRC. 2004. Stepping-Stones to the Future of Space Exploration: A Workshop Report. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. Available online at <http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11020.html>. Accessed September 10, 2004.

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Government/Industry/Academic Relationships for Technology Development: A Workshop Report the Mentor-Protégé program, the Multidisciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative (MURI) program, and the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program (Chapter 4). The third session focused on the mechanisms used by NSF, including the Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRCs) and Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) (Chapter 5). Eight individuals were asked to serve as panelists in the sessions on these three topics. Each panelist was asked to provide a short oral presentation on the topic, after which session moderators directed the discussions. Panelists were also asked to provide a short white paper on the topic from the perspective of their affiliation and experience. The two white papers that were submitted can be found in Appendix F. Also, to aid the reader, an index of selected topics can be found in Appendix G. OPENING REMARKS Steering committee chair Darrell Branscome convened the workshop and gave a synopsis of the background of the series of workshops on issues surrounding technology development for human and robotic exploration and development of space. He mentioned that the workshop at hand was the second in that series. The first workshop, conducted in February 2004, had focused on the rationale for human and robotic exploration and related policy issues. This second workshop was intended to focus on best practices relative to interactions and relationships between government, industry, and universities. The overall objective of the workshop was to discuss the experiences of federal agencies and departments other than NASA in their interaction with external partners and some of their experience with government-industry interaction. The goal was to provide information that could be helpful to NASA as it implements the nation’s vision for space exploration. Branscome went on to say that sustaining the vision over a time period of between 30 and 50 years is going to require a healthy set of relationships. These relationships will be not only between NASA and other government agencies, but also between NASA and industry—both large and small—and NASA and the academic community. The external partners will provide the human resources for implementing and carrying out the vision over that protracted period of time. John Mankins, Deputy Director for Human and Robotic Technology Development Programs in NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, provided a few opening remarks from the sponsor’s viewpoint. He discussed the history of the series of workshops—the current workshop being the second in a series of four—which had begun during a time of substantial reorganization at NASA headquarters. On October 11, 2002, NASA created the Space Architect's Office in the Office of the NASA Administrator, it rearranged the Office of Space Flight, and it created the Advanced Systems Office within the Office of Space Flight. The last office was responsible for providing much of the planning for future human and robotic exploration. Since then, NASA has reorganized twice. Mankins described the series of NRC workshops as timely. He said they were the type of activity that would give NASA some flexibility in adapting to changing circumstances, which had certainly turned out to be the case. In the past 2 years, NASA experienced many changes—the Columbia accident; the year-long policy formulation

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Government/Industry/Academic Relationships for Technology Development: A Workshop Report activity during 2003, leading to the new vision for space exploration announced in January 2004; the creation of the Office of Exploration Systems; the appointment of Craig Steidle, Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems; John Mankins’s move from the Office of Space Flight to the Office of Exploration Systems; and the assignment of personnel to Exploration Systems. Other changes came in response to the Aldridge commission’s report.9, 10 In the face of this steady stream of changes and reorganizations, NASA has begun to synthesize parallel lines of activity for its different missions while focusing on the pursuit of technology in support of the new vision for space exploration. Mankins ended his remarks by saying that the workshop series continued to be extremely timely and impotant. NASA is pushing ahead with a rather dramatic reformulation of its investment portfolio. As a result, information from the workshop series will be quite timely. Steering committee member Molly Macauley, Resources for the Future, provided an introduction to the workshop. She began by saying NASA’s reason for hosting the workshop was to ascertain from other federal agencies, industry, and universities what has and has not worked in their collaborative efforts. She noted that collaboration is perhaps more complicated than it would appear. For instance, there are different types of universities and colleges, from community colleges to large research universities, as well as different types of industry, from small, entrepreneurial companies to large industrial conglomerates. She asked whether there was a one-size-fits-all approach to collaboration. How can we have the best and brightest in the country working for NASA in a collaborative atmosphere and also make sure that taxpayer money is not wasted, given complications such as intellectual property rights, patents, and royalties? For example, are peer-reviewed grants or procurement contracts good mechanisms for collaboration? Or would a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) methodology work well? Macauley mentioned that NASA had proposed bringing back the idea of prizes to stimulate technology development, as was done from 1900 to 1927 for the aviation industry, when prizes were awarded largely by the private sector to entrepreneurs to advance aviation technology. The idea was successful, even though in comparison to today, that earlier period in U.S. history was a time of limited federal government—during much of the heyday of aviation prizes, there was as yet no personal income tax, let alone a system of peer-review grants and procurement contracts. It is still questionable whether a prize approach will work within government in lieu of existing methods of collaboration, but Macauley said that NASA’s program of prizes—Centennial Challenges—was indicative of a willingness to consider new approaches for stimulating technology development. Congress, however, has not been fully receptive. Macauley said the workshop was an opportunity to discuss the best approaches to technology advancement—for example, experimental demonstration programs or other mechanisms that workshop participants might suggest. She also noted that mechanisms for long-term technology development needed to provide for sustained interaction across 9   Aldridge Commission. 2004. Report of the President’s Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy: A Journey to Inspire, Innovate, and Discover. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, June. 10   NASA reorganized again on August 1, 2004, renaming the Office of Exploration Systems, NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate.

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Government/Industry/Academic Relationships for Technology Development: A Workshop Report administrations and in the face of changing federal budgets. Macauley then charged the workshop speakers to share what, from their perspective, had worked and what had not.