Technology Transfer Partnership with California State Polytechnic University, Pomona Recognized as “Outstanding”

FLC Award-Winning Team
Representatives of the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (CPP) receive their Outstanding Partnership Award from the Far West Region of the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC-FW). Pictured from left are Jennifer Stewart, FLC-FW; Winny Dong and Olukemi Sawyerr, CPP; Janeya Griffin, Laura Fobel, Samantha Hull, and Earl Adams, TTO; and Annemarie Meike, FLC-FW (photo courtesy of FLC-FW)

In August 2017, the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center and the Student Innovation Idea Lab at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) received an Outstanding Partnership Award from the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer’s Far West Region (FLC-FW).

“We are so pleased,” said Laura Fobel, who heads the TTO at Armstrong. “We had worked hard with the folks at Cal Poly Pomona to establish an agreement that met the needs of both organizations. That partnership has been very successful, so it’s satisfying to receive this recognition.”

Under the agreement established in 2014, Armstrong’s TTO and Cal Poly Pomona offer two programs to students from the Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). Participants benefit from increased preparedness for the job market, and they are inspired to pursue careers in STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, math.

“The TTO has been beyond supportive, putting their weight behind anything we’ve needed,” said Dr. Olukemi Sawyerr, who directs Cal Poly Pomona’s Student Innovation Idea Lab. “They helped us develop the programs for the long term.”

In the NASA Technology Assessment Program, undergraduates in the business and engineering schools work in pairs to evaluate the technical and commercial potential of an invention developed at Armstrong. The follow-up, known as the NASA Business Startup Program, allows student entrepreneurs to work with faculty mentors in creating new businesses and products based on or incorporating NASA technologies.

For example, one team created Fantom, a redesigned blade for industrial fans based on a new aircraft wing design that Armstrong researchers developed to reduce drag and increase fuel efficiency.

“The startup team received a $5,000 Stage 1 grant from VentureWell, which is funding additional development,” explained Dr. H. Erkan Ozkaya, director of the Cal Poly Pomona–NASA Business Startup Program. “We developed a physical testing procedure and equipment for noise levels. We also created simulation modules for such testing that will significantly decrease our prototyping costs.”


About the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer

The FLC fosters commercialization best practice strategies and opportunities for accelerating federal technologies from out of the labs and into the marketplace. The FLC’s Far West Region covers more than 50 laboratories across eight western states. The FLC’s Awards Program recognizes federal laboratories and their partners for outstanding technology transfer achievements. These awards are ranked as some of the most prestigious honors in the technology transfer field.