use of the ocean science research community are a primary example of the type of mutually beneficial exchange enjoyed by academia and naval research personnel. Reports and initiatives in this area, however, make no provisions for the nonacademic, domestic commercial sector (e.g., MEDEA, 1995).
Transfer of ONR-supported technology to the academic community appears, in summary, to work well for both groups. The same cannot be said, however, for transfer from ONR to the commercial sector. Despite the high potential for transfer between ONR/NRL and the commercial sector, and the Navy’s existing mechanisms to perform the transfer, the exchange is relatively low and episodic at best. The principal reason for this poor exchange appears to be a lack of ONR/ NRL commitment and incentives to maintain the interaction necessary to foster vigorous technology transfer with the commercial sector.
The Chief of Naval Research should make it clear that technology transfer is a major goal for the Department of the Navy, and therefore for ONR. Technology transfer should become a part of the mission objectives for the Navy and be incorporated as an integral part of the Navy Strategic Plan. The elements of the technology transfer plan should be embraced by the senior management responsible for its development and implementation. Specific metrics in performance and scheduling should be established and reviewed quarterly by the Chief of Naval Research. Recognition and rewards need to be established at the level of the Chief of Naval Research to acknowledge the importance and accomplishments of efforts to promote technology transfer. Finally, the use of electronic networking and active participation in nonmilitary trade shows and professional meetings are absolutely vital to ensure a successful technology transfer program.