National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Goddard Space Flight CenterGoddard Space Flight Center

How to License Technologies from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

License Agreement Steps and Guidelines

Through licensing agreements, companies from all over the United States have commercialized Goddard technologies. A licensing agreement is a legal document that spells out the terms and conditions allowing a company to move forward with the process of turning a NASA technology into a commercial product. Prospective licensees can complete the first steps of licensing online, and as always, they can reach out to the Strategic Partnerships Office for help – email or call (301) 286-5810.

NASA’s online patent portfolio makes it easy to search for technologies relevant to a company’s interests. With diverse categories such as communications, biotechnology, optics, and sensors, it’s worth exploring the portfolio to see what’s available. Use the search bar to find a specific technology or click through the categories to navigate manually. Search for Goddard-developed technologies here. It’s always best to get in touch with a technology manager to discuss the specifics of the case to ensure a good fit.

Apply for Technology License

Once a prospective licensee has settled on a technology to pursue, the application process can begin. NASA’s Automated Technology Licensing Application System (ATLAS) will ask for the patent number or patent application number; the title of the invention; the patent issue date (if applicable); the name and contact information for the requesting person, company, or organization; the type of license requested (exclusive, partially exclusive, or nonexclusive); and initial offers for royalty rate schedule, upfront fee, yearly minimums, and milestones. Technology managers and commercialization specialists will evaluate the complete application and provide updates on its status.

Negotiate Terms

The terms of a license agreement can vary depending on the technologies, people, and businesses involved. Each case is different, and SPO technology managers will negotiate with prospective licensees to arrive at an agreement that takes into account the practical application of the innovation, license duration, royalties, and periodic reporting.

A variety of factors can impact licensing fees, including the licensee’s industry, the maturity level of the technology, and the exclusivity level of the license. Once all these details are decided, the agreement is ready to sign.

Sign and Commercialize

After executing the license agreement, licensees can pursue commercialization of the technology. SPO promotes successful technology success stories and shares them in NASA publications, both print and online. Successfully commercialized NASA technologies are called spinoffs – SPO encourages spinoff companies to keep the office updated about progress and achievements.