The NSA Technology Transfer Program (TTP) transfers NSA-developed technology to industry, academia, and other research organisations.
The program, is located within the Research Directorate, and is operated under a federal mandate. Through this program the agency is tasked with moving technologies out of the NSA lab and seeking commercialisation opportunities.
The thinking behind this NSA / Private Sector co-operation according to the agencies website is:
- Successful transfer and commercialisation of NSA technologies gives traction to the federal government’s annual commitment to research and development, now totalling over $145 billion;
- Accelerates NSA mission solutions;
- Creates new companies, new jobs, and new revenue; and
- Strengthens the economy, which in turn, strengthens national security.
The NSA publishes the patent portfolio annually listing all of the agency developed technologies that are available for licensing. If you spot something that is of interest to your firm then there is an eight step process of engaging with the agency and there are five possible deal structures.
These deal structures are broadly categorised as:
- Patent License Agreement (PLA) – Enables businesses and entrepreneurs to commercialise NSA technology;
- Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) – Allows NSA to partner with companies, academia, non-profits, and state and local governments;
- Education Partnership Agreement (EPA) – Establishes the foundation of partnerships between NSA and educational institutions;
- Open Source Software (OSS) Releases – Gives NSA innovators the ability to share technology with the public;
- Technology Transfer Sharing Agreement (TTSA) – Enables other government agencies to access NSA-developed technologies.