to nonmilitary problems. These products range from coatings and materials to reduce ship corrosion at sea to sophisticated computer models for predicting the fate and transport of oil spills (see Chapter 2). The high-quality scientific research and the technology development supported by ONR are an important component of the Navy’s efforts to maintain combat readiness and tactical advantage. The committee recognizes that research and development (R&D) supported by ONR is of vital importance to fleet effectiveness and national defense. Many of ONR’s marine research programs and the resulting products, as well as the expertise they represent, do not exist in the nonmilitary sector.

Recommendation: ONR should continue to fund and nurture long-range marine research and technology development. These efforts should be coupled with the education and training of scientific and engineering personnel in ocean science and technology.


Finding: Federal agencies are mandated by public law to transfer technology (see Appendix C). The transfer of ocean science and technology within the Navy and to other government agencies, and to a large extent, to academia, appears to be adequate. Technology transfer to the nonmilitary commercial sector, by contrast, is clearly inadequate. This inadequacy is particularly evident in the transfer of technology to major U.S. corporations that lack a history of involvement with ONR and to small companies (less than 100 employees and less than $30 million in revenues) of all types.

The Navy’s mission of national security has properly dominated ONR thought and action. The transfer of ONR-sponsored technology and knowledge to the private sector is, however, directed by Public Law 96-480 (Appendix C) and interpreted by DOD Regulation for Domestic Technology Transfer:

Make available for use within the Component not less than half of one percent (0.5 percent) of the total R&D budget, to support the domestic technology transfer functions of the Component as specified in Section 11 of Public Law 96-480 (Reference [a]). This provision may be waived by notification to Congress on an annual basis at the same time as the budget submission to the Congress including explanation of reasons for the waiver and alternate methods of conducting the technology transfer function. Department of Defense (1988, pp. 1-4).

This provision was amended in 1989 by Public Law 101-189 (Appendix C) to require that “each Federal agency which operates or directs one or more Federal laboratories shall make available sufficient funding, either as a separate line item or from the development budget, to support” technology transfer. In

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