National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Goddard Space Flight CenterGoddard Space Flight Center

Disclose Inventions

Technology Transfer

Technology transfer moves inventions from the laboratory to the marketplace. As a result of NASA’s Technology Transfer Program efforts, companies have created more than 14,400 jobs and generated more than $5 billion in revenue. Goddard’s Strategic Partnerships Office works with researchers to evaluate new technologies, manage inventions, and transfer selected inventions to the market through licensing agreements with businesses or individuals in private industry.

At Goddard, the technology transfer process starts with New Technology Reports (NTRs). An NTR is more than just another form – it’s a packet of information that helps SPO evaluate the commercial potential of an innovation. Technology transfer professionals use NTRs to make important decisions about the future of a technology. The report provides a basis for discussion and keeps SPO and Goddard’s Office of Patent Counsel apprised of technology developments coming from directorates throughout the center.

It’s best to submit an NTR before public disclosure of a new technology. This allows NASA to protect intellectual property and most effectively share it with the public when the time comes. Due to federal requirements, U.S. patent applications must be filed within a year of the public disclosure of a new technology. This means it’s important for NASA to evaluate technologies relatively early in the process.

All Goddard employees should disclose ideas related to technology development. These ideas include hardware (machines or products), processes (methods, techniques, or recipes), systems, materials, tools, fixtures, and software. Any improvement on a process, no matter how incremental, should be reported. Through NASA’s e-NTR system, innovators can report their technologies to SPO.

Submitting NTRs can be beneficial for Goddard researchers. They can receive royalties if their invention is licensed, they can become eligible for technology transfer awards, and they contribute to the good of the country and society through their efforts.

Each year, SPO receives a high volume of NTRs. SPO engineering and marketing staff examine each NTR to determine the technology’s likelihood of commercial success, which can include ownership, intellectual property protection potential, market attractiveness, technology readiness, and inventor enthusiasm for commercialization. Select NTRs are then routed for patent protection and active marketing to potential licensees and partners. Other NTRs are allowed to further incubate for reassessment at a later date.

Once a technology is slated for patenting, SPO looks for individuals and companies with interests that match the technology’s applications. SPO welcomes the involvement of inventors in these commercialization pursuits, and inventors are encouraged to contact SPO for updates on their NTRs, since commercialization of inventions can take several years.

To receive assistance or ask questions about the technology transfer process, please email  or call (301) 286-5810. SPO staff can answer questions about the form and help populate selected fields with final review and approval from the inventor.