National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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Goddard’s Master Innovator Program

This program recognizes the innovative achievements stemming from the Goddard community. Similar to how martial arts programs award colored belts based on proficiency, the Master Innovator Program awards Goddard innovators belt levels and a pin based on individual contributions to technology transfer. To qualify, innovators can submit new technology reports (NTRs), complete partnerships or contribute to patented technologies, among other activities.  

Upon reaching the highest level of black belt, prolific innovators will be viewed as subject matter experts in tech transfer. As such, they will have input into the strategic planning of GSFC partnering and act as advisors in their respective areas of expertise in tech transfer proceedings.     

If you qualify for the Master Innovator Program, contact:

White Belt

  • 2 NTRs or 1 Partnership


Master Innovator White Belt



Yellow Belt

  • 4 NTRs or 3 Partnership


Master Innovator Yellow Belt



Green Belt

  • 6 NTRs or 3 Partnership
  • 1 Patent


Master Innovator Green Belt


Purple Belt

  • 6 NTRs or 3 Partnership
  • 1 Patent
  • 1 Licensing Agreement


Master Innovator Purple Belt


Brown Belt

  • 7 NTRs or 4 Partnership
  • 1 Patent
  • 1 Licensing Agreement


Master Innovator Brown Belt


Black Belt

The following lifetime achievements at Goddard are taken into consideration

  • Mentorship of junior Goddard innovators
  • Awards Received (internal & external) relevant to tech transfer & partnering
  • Royalties generated/societal impact as a result of licensing/partnerships
  • At least three years as a brown belt
  • Participation in promoting technology transfer & strategic partnerships
  • Awarded by existing black belt panel, Deputy Center Director for Technology & Research Investments & Chief of Strategic Partnerships Office
Master Innovator Black Belt