E

Draft Technology Policy Statement from NASA's Office of Space Science

Policy # 1: Excellence above all else.

The NASA/OSS Space Technology Program is vital to the future of NASA and its Enterprises. Therefore, we can, and will accept nothing less than excellence in all program activities. These include the technology development activities, as well as the processes we use to manage the program, both in Headquarters and at the Centers. All program activities will be reviewed by experts and benchmarked against “best in class.”

Excellence goes beyond just management and implementation. Excellence includes the leadership that makes NASA a technology-driven agency. Our leadership role includes ensuring the proper balance between near-term needs, and the long-reach technologies that will position and maintain NASA on the cutting edge into the next millennium. Thus, a first test of every decision will be “which choice supports and enhances excellence?”

Policy # 2: In service to the Enterprises, period.

All activities in our program must be in service of, and directly traceable to, one or more identified customers; that is, one or more Enterprises. The Centers will develop and maintain documentation that shows a one-to-one correspondence between resource allocations and specific Enterprise requirements. All technology funds will be traceable to a specific and documented requirement from one or more Enterprises.

The Enterprises need technologies with maturity levels that span from the near term (a few years, “Mission-Pull”) to the far term (a few decades, “Vision-Pull”). Enterprise-driven “Vision-Pull” replaces the concept of “technology push” in assuring sufficient resources are applied to long-lead (low-TRL) technologies. Vision-pull ensures direct connection of the technology program to Enterprise needs. This connection will be at the foundation of our budget justification and advocacy.

Our charge is to work closely with the Enterprises to make them informed requirements developers. We need to help them identify high-leverage technologies and advise on the balance of low and high technology readiness levels (TRLs). For example, we must advise them of technologies (e.g., biological computers, kilometer sized sails) that could enable missions not now under study. We will also communicate the perspectives of upper management so they can respond to these desiderata.

The OSS technology program contains two components: technologies for Space Science Missions and technologies that serve multiple Enterprises known as “cross-Enterprise” technologies. Space Science technology requirements, for example, must lead to “missions which return the best possible science at the lowest possible cost.” Ultimately, the Enterprises are our only customers—we will implement the technology programs they want.

Policy # 3: The NASA Centers manage the NASA Technology Programs



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Assessment of Technology Development in NASA's Office of Space Science E Draft Technology Policy Statement from NASA's Office of Space Science Policy # 1: Excellence above all else. The NASA/OSS Space Technology Program is vital to the future of NASA and its Enterprises. Therefore, we can, and will accept nothing less than excellence in all program activities. These include the technology development activities, as well as the processes we use to manage the program, both in Headquarters and at the Centers. All program activities will be reviewed by experts and benchmarked against “best in class.” Excellence goes beyond just management and implementation. Excellence includes the leadership that makes NASA a technology-driven agency. Our leadership role includes ensuring the proper balance between near-term needs, and the long-reach technologies that will position and maintain NASA on the cutting edge into the next millennium. Thus, a first test of every decision will be “which choice supports and enhances excellence?” Policy # 2: In service to the Enterprises, period. All activities in our program must be in service of, and directly traceable to, one or more identified customers; that is, one or more Enterprises. The Centers will develop and maintain documentation that shows a one-to-one correspondence between resource allocations and specific Enterprise requirements. All technology funds will be traceable to a specific and documented requirement from one or more Enterprises. The Enterprises need technologies with maturity levels that span from the near term (a few years, “Mission-Pull”) to the far term (a few decades, “Vision-Pull”). Enterprise-driven “Vision-Pull” replaces the concept of “technology push” in assuring sufficient resources are applied to long-lead (low-TRL) technologies. Vision-pull ensures direct connection of the technology program to Enterprise needs. This connection will be at the foundation of our budget justification and advocacy. Our charge is to work closely with the Enterprises to make them informed requirements developers. We need to help them identify high-leverage technologies and advise on the balance of low and high technology readiness levels (TRLs). For example, we must advise them of technologies (e.g., biological computers, kilometer sized sails) that could enable missions not now under study. We will also communicate the perspectives of upper management so they can respond to these desiderata. The OSS technology program contains two components: technologies for Space Science Missions and technologies that serve multiple Enterprises known as “cross-Enterprise” technologies. Space Science technology requirements, for example, must lead to “missions which return the best possible science at the lowest possible cost.” Ultimately, the Enterprises are our only customers—we will implement the technology programs they want. Policy # 3: The NASA Centers manage the NASA Technology Programs

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Assessment of Technology Development in NASA's Office of Space Science The responsibility for managing the technology program is delegated to the NASA field Centers. They provide technological leadership, system engineer the technology program, and assign appropriate roles within NASA, industry, academia and other Government laboratories. They assure that technological “gaps” are filled in the end-to-end mission systems picture. The Centers are directed to develop and maintain an in-house “corporate knowledge” base that is: 1) in direct support of assigned Enterprise requirements and 2) necessary and sufficient to discharge their program management responsibilities. They must justify and maintain the critical masses in key core competencies that make them “smart buyers.” They must hire and retain managers and technologists of the first rank. Those in-house efforts justified as the minimal core to discharge management and leadership responsibilities will not be subject to competition with outside organizations. The Centers will, however, establish and implement the measures necessary (e.g., external peer reviews) to ensure excellence. Policy # 4: Engagement of the broader community to promote excellence. Having established the rationale for a non-competed critical mass of in-house activity (see policy # 3 above) the Centers will aggressively integrate industry, academia, and other Laboratories into the program. These entities offer the unique assets and perspectives that program excellence demands. Industry, for example, contains valuable technology developed by internal resources (IR&D and profit dollars) and by other (restricted / military) customers. Technology from restricted programs may be available to NASA even though the customers mission remains classified. Similarly, the university community holds a vast and unique technological resource. University groups, receiving significant funding from other sources, lead in many technology areas (e.g., instrument and detector technologies). They offer world-class expertise at low cost. With faculty salaries underwritten by universities, faculty-led teams of students and post-docs can be highly cost-effective technology developers. Finally, many of these same scientists stake their professional careers on the initiation and success of NASA science missions—they are uniquely motivated. Each Center will document and implement visible processes to maximize the opportunity for others to compete with in-house staff for technology program resources. Outreach activities will ensure the opportunities are broadly advertised, especially for small businesses. Fair evaluation criteria will ensure a “level playing field,” especially with the way NASA civil salaries are included in cost-benefit assessments. The burden-of-poof for demonstrating fair and open competition lies with the centers. The Director, Advanced Technology & Mission Studies in Headquarters will approve these processes. Policy # 5: Reviews processes to ensure excellence. Each Center will design and maintain a set of processes that use external/peer review to assure excellence in both in-house and out-of-house work. The reviews will consider such factors as: Whether the work is “best-in-class”

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Assessment of Technology Development in NASA's Office of Space Science The contribution to specific and documented Enterprise requirements; Whether the work is significantly advancing the state of the art; and Whether the work creates a resource for the community that doesn 't already exist. The Director, Advanced Technology & Mission Studies in Headquarters will approve these processes. If non-competitive in-house work fails to meet the highest standards of excellence, Center management will generate a plan for prompt remedy that will be approved by the Director, Advanced Technology & Mission Studies in Headquarters as a condition of continued funding. Policy #6: Technology Transfer The overarching goal of the OSS technology program is to enable Space Science, and other NASA missions to be implemented with higher returns and lower cost through the use of advanced technology. It is the responsibility of the Centers to ensure transfer of these technologies to the implementing organizations (e.g., the industrial contractors and academia). There is little value in developing technology in-house if the systems and instrument development are out-of house, unless the technologies are efficiently transferred. Each technology development effort will have a plan for transferring the technology to the user at the appropriate time. Policy # 7: Proprietary Data Protection and Intellectual Property Protection As we cooperate more closely with others, we must ensure that sensitive data are protected. Whenever NASA solicits information that is competition sensitive, proprietary, or classified, it is incumbent on us all to implement the protective processes defined in NASA regulations. These may include verification of training for NASA employees, conflict of interest management, facility security and so on. Whenever others provide sensitive data to NASA, it is incumbent on the provider to be clear with NASA about the nature of the sensitivity and to ascertain which processes NASA will use to protect the data. They are responsible for ascertaining the adequacy of these approaches before providing such data to the Agency. In the case of intellectual property, although ideas cannot generally be copyrighted, information providers could request credit or attribution.