National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Goddard Space Flight CenterGoddard Space Flight Center

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to Pilot the Patent Innovation Entrepreneurship Rapid Research (PIERR) Program

Diversity of thought can pay big dividends. A 2015 report by McKinsey & Co. found that companies in the top quartile for diversity are 35 percent more likely to have above median financial returns. When organizations bring new viewpoints to the table, everyone wins.

In order to tap into diverse sources of innovative ideas, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is piloting the Patent Innovation Entrepreneurship Rapid Research (PIERR) program, which allows high school and college students to apply their unique perspectives and find creative uses for patented NASA technologies in areas such as data science and machine learning. The students will receive mentorship guidance from experts and industry leaders, available through a collaboration with a social enterprise organization.

Students from varied academic disciplines will work together to rapidly study a select group of NASA patents. These budding entrepreneurs will work hand-in-hand with NASA’s technology transfer managers and inventors, deepening their understanding of each technology’s potential. At the end of PIERR, students present their findings, having generated entrepreneurial leads and invented new applications for high-tech products. Participating students gain a vast portfolio of skills to amplify their career options, and NASA obtains new ways to bring the technology from the labs to our lives.

PIERR will benefit students and NASA through the creation of currently unimagined start-up industries or commercialization of new products. Equipped with a wealth of newfound knowledge, members of PIERR’s cohort can become the next generation of high-tech entrepreneurs, and NASA gains fresh approaches to exploring technology transfer. The future is here with PIERR.

For more information, please contact:


Brooke Purinton


Dennis Small