Volume 4, Number 2 May/June 1996
The first major company to emerge from the Ames Technology Commercialization Center (ATCC) has more than $3.5 million in business and is expected to grow to at least 20 jobs in the coming months.
Real-Time Innovation, Inc. (RTI) of Sunnyvale, Calif., collaborated with Ames Research Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Stanford University to leverage NASA research to produce ControlShell software and tools that develop complex, real-time command and control software systems. ControlShell software processes information as it downloads to the computer. The new product allows large groups of programmers and projects to share and reuse software objects. Ames is using the tool on the Marsokhod, a U.S./Russian rover designed to conduct telerobotic experiments on Mars. The Marsokhod Rover is scheduled for a Russian mission in 1998.
ATCC expects five more companies to emerge from the business incubator in 1996. RTI entered ATCC in January 1995 and graduated in January 1996.
"This (RTI's emergence) marks a major milestone for the new NASA and for our assertive, grassroots commercialization program. This is one of the first and most tangible manifestations of NASA's 1994 Agenda for Change and the concept of a new way for the agency to do business," said Robert Norwood, director of the Commercial Technology Division, Office of Space Access and Technology at NASA Headquarters. The Agenda for Change is NASA's policy document on how the Agency will ensure that its technological resources are transferred into the private sector to improve U.S. economic competitiveness.
Long-established, market-leading companies in the aerospace, automotive, consumer electronics, communication industries, government organizations and university research laboratories are among RTI's customers.
"NASA Ames made a huge contribution to our technology. The ATCC catalyzed our efforts to bring this technology to market. These cooperative efforts allow important research results to impact a much wider audience. They are crucial to the efficient use of our national research talent," said RTI President and CEO Stan Schneider.
Twenty-seven new high technology companies have begun at the 2 1/2-year-old ATCC, taking in more than $30 million in private investment. More than 120 jobs have been created and nearly half the companies continue to hire.
ATCC, which is funded by NASA through a cooperative agreement with University of Texas at Austin's IC Squared Institute, provides its companies with management support and office space. Its companies use NASA technologies to enhance their product or service; provide technologies to NASA to leverage against the space agency's existing research, engineering or administrative efforts; or collaborate with Ames on technical projects.
"Our incubator program leverages the taxpayer research dollar by placing NASA technologies in the hands of entrepreneurs. The success of RTI visibly demonstrates how NASA is making an impact on the economic well-being of the United States by creating new companies, innovative products and jobs," said Cary Hayward, project manager for small business development at Ames.
For more information, contact Cary Hayward at Ames Research Center. Phone: 415/604-6866. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Please mention that you read about it in Innovation.