National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Goddard Space Flight CenterGoddard Space Flight Center

License Inventions


Each year, scientists and engineers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland develop new and innovative technologies to support the multitude of missions that NASA orchestrates. Sometimes, these technologies have applications in markets outside the space program, and Goddard’s Strategic Partnerships Office (SPO) seeks to make connections between industry’s needs and NASA’s technology offerings. SPO plays an important role in transferring Goddard technologies to the private sector, as well as protecting NASA’s intellectual property.

Inventors at Goddard work with the Strategic Partnerships Office (SPO) to disclose their innovations and provide detailed information about them. Then, SPO evaluates each technology for commercial potential, working with Goddard’s Office of Patent Counsel to recommend technologies for patenting. Companies can review patented and patent-pending technologies to determine their interest in pursuing a license. Many licensed Goddard technologies have turned into successful “spinoffs,” another word for innovations that have transitioned to commercial products.

Below, you can find a portfolio of technologies available for licensing, as well as Goddard’s open source software catalog.

Invention Catalog Category Definition

Protected Technologies

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Goddard’s patent portfolio includes technologies in the categories of aeronautics, communications, electrical/electronics, environment, health, medicine, and biotechnology, IT and software, instrumentation, and more. Companies can apply for a license through NASA’s Automated Technology Licensing Application System.

Software Technologies

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Software comprises more than 30 percent of all reported NASA innovations, and through the software release process, Goddard software helps support projects all over the United States. Software categories include business systems and project management, environmental science, data and imaging processing, and others. Some codes and mobile applications offer direct download, while others require a completed request form for processing through Goddard’s Software Release Authority. In either case, code included in the NASA Software Catalog is available free of charge.

License Agreement Steps and Guidelines