ers should be an integral part of technology transfer accomplished through a TTC or any other mechanism.

  • ARPA. Incentives for ARPA to participate include effective performance of its mandated mission, broadened reach into currently inaccessible areas of the private sector, and the possibility that the 50 percent grant will be recovered in the form of cash or value repayment.

  • Private sector. Incentives for private sector companies and venture capitalists would include the profit potential. Venture capitalists could be included among prospective ONR partners in the formation of start-up enterprises to capitalize on yet ill-defined applications of ONR technology in the private sector.

  • TTC. Standard entrepreneurial profit would exist as an incentive for any potential TTC. Start-up capital would be only half debt; equity would be shared with ONR on joint ventures; profit potential would be tied directly to performance in the transfer of knowledge and technology.

  • Academia. Both private and public CRDAs and TRPs would be largely outside the exclusivity of the TTC; therefore, the approximately $400 million of current ONR awards to 3,000-4,000 PIs for 6.1 (basic and applied research) projects would be largely unaffected. The same would apply for SBIRs and CRDAs.

The foregoing TTC profile is intended only as an example of the type of innovative program ONR may wish to consider; consequently, details are absent from its description. The creation or implementation of any new organizational mechanism should include the establishment of clear program goals and relevant metrics to ensure that any intermediary entity truly facilitates rather than impedes technology transfer. The suggestion reflects the conviction, however, that the current status of ONR technology transfer cannot be remedied by minor reforms alone. What is needed is a basic, organizational course change. The private sector is the best source of information on what it needs, at what cost, and on what timetable. Creating a TTC is one way for that need to be addressed. ONR should explore various options to promote technology transfer, including changes in organizational structure. In addition, small business should be an important target of ONR technology transfer efforts, as smaller companies have the organizational flexibility for rapid assimilation and use of emerging technology (Berkowitz, 1994).


The incentives cited for a TTC are equally applicable to existing ONR technology transfer programs. Other programs should be set up to provide incentives to specific groups to promote technology transfer. Some suggested incentive plans for each major participant in marine research and development are provided below.

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