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Expanding the Uses of Naval Ocean Science and Technology
annual revenues less than $30 million or fewer than 100 employees). Evidence of this lack of involvement appears in several areas listed below. The committee did not develop, nor does it recommend, specific values for the metrics listed below (only a subset of potentially useful measures), and it did not conduct quantitative analysis of such measures. Such standard setting should be conducted by ONR upper management. ONR’s performance in technology transfer should be comparable to the overall performance of DOD in technology transfer (i.e., the technology transfer efforts of any DOD R&D program, as gauged by any given metric, should be roughly proportional to that program ’s share of the overall DOD R&D budget). Indicators of the effectiveness of present ONR technology transfer efforts include the following:
Participation in CRDAs—Of the 413 CRDAs involving DOD in 1993, ONR participated in 80, approximately 19 percent (David Rossi, ONR, personal communication, 1995), which compares favorably with ONR’s portion of the DOD budget (18 percent). Only seven of the 80 ONR CRDAs involved offshore technology, however, (and most of these seven involve short-term consulting or ONR facilities rental). The total number of CRDAs involving ONR has increased to more than 280 as of July 1995 (David Rossi, ONR, personal communication, 1995). Although this increase in the cumulative number of CRDAs in which ONR is involved may suggest a significant improvement in technology transfer in this area, specific information on the type of CRDAs represented (i.e., by category such as ocean science, aerospace, etc.) was not available for the post-1993 period. This lack of specific information makes comparison of ONR performance before and after 1993 difficult, even for this single metric.
ORTA marketing tools—The main marketing mechanism used by ONR is the CRDA (see above). Examination of brochures and advertisements distributed by ONR suggests that ONR’s interest in ORTA is more as a vehicle to market ONR laboratory facilities and personnel than to transfer ONR knowledge and technology to the private sector for commercial development.
Proliferation of terms—Broad understanding of technology transfer policy appears to have been hampered by conflicting rhetoric (e.g., conversion, uni- and bi-directional transfer, dual-use, spin-on, spin-off, technology-push, market-pull). Several responsible ONR officials are still uncertain about what qualifies as “domestic technology transfer.”
Low number of patents licensed—Less than 2 percent of patents awarded to DOD are in ocean science and technology (80 of 4,600), despite the fact that ONR (i.e., Navy S&T) funding accounted for approximately 18 percent of total DOD S&T funding in 1995.
Lack of effective marketing programs—ONR has designed a pilot program at the University of Maryland to use MBA students and faculty to identify technologies with promise for commercialization and to perform market research.