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NASA Partners With Colorado In Technology Acceleration Initiative

December 13, 2010

NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver and Colorado Governor Bill Ritter Jr., participated Monday in a Space Act Agreement signing ceremony at the Colorado State Capitol Building in Denver to promote the commercialization of technology developed for the space program.

NASA’s agreement with the Colorado Association for Manufacturing and Technology (CAMT) created a Technology Acceleration Program and Regional Innovation Cluster for Aerospace and Clean Energy. A manufacturing park focused on rapid new product development and production will be developed to assist growing Colorado businesses.

“This park will use Colorado’s existing competitive strengths to boost economic growth while creating new jobs and products for aerospace and energy industries,” Garver said. “NASA is pleased to collaborate on new technology developments like the one being created through the Colorado Technology Acceleration Program and Regional Innovation Cluster.”

Under the agreement, small and mid-sized businesses will have direct access to a NASA “innovation ambassador,” an agency expert who can identify NASA and partner technologies ready for commercialization. The ambassador will conduct forums to drive partnerships among NASA and Colorado businesses and help identify businesses that can benefit from commercialization technical assistance.

“The new agreement with NASA is a perfect fit for Colorado because it will enhance our leading aerospace industry and growing high-tech business and research sectors,” Ritter said. “Most importantly, this will bring high-tech jobs to our state. Colorado is a hub for innovation and continues to attract the best and the brightest workers. Congratulations to CAMT and NASA for making this historic agreement.”

The Technology Acceleration Program will allow companies to work with NASA and expedite product development from an average of five years to as little as 18 months. New products will get to market more quickly, and new high tech jobs will be created.

“Aerospace and energy are the fastest growing industries in Colorado, sharing the same supply base and similar workforce needs,” said Elaine Thorndike, chief executive officer of CAMT. “Through regional innovation clusters, public and private sectors can work together to increase business opportunities, technical assistance programs and market penetration for aerospace and clean energy manufacturing strength.”

The NASA-CAMT partnership will provide technical assistance and identify gaps in commercialization and scouting services to help companies looking for space-developed technologies and services. It will help companies bridge the gap between prototype design, manufacturing and commercialization, while identifying commercial applications for NASA technologies.

Innovation is necessary to expand the U.S. economy and ensure competitiveness in a global economy. Many new, innovative technologies are developed by small and mid-sized businesses that do not have a robust, in-house product development capability and lack commercialization resources.

Through the agreement, NASA joins the state of Colorado, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and CAMT in a pathfinder collaboration to promote innovation and global competitiveness in the new energy economy.

CAMT is a statewide manufacturing assistance center dedicated to increasing the competitiveness of Colorado manufacturers. The association is the state affiliate of the national Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

For more information about CAMT, visit: http://www.camt.com

For more information about NASA’s Partnerships, Innovation and Commercial Space, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/oct

For more information about Colorado, visit: http://www.colorado.gov




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