Technology Docking program assists companies in solving technology challenges.
Space Coast, Fla. (June 16, 2017) – Facing a product development technical challenge? NASA may be able to help. The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC), in partnership with NASA, is accepting applications from companies for the Technology Docking Subject Matter Expert (SME) Assistance program.
Now in its third year, the Technology Docking program is a strategic alliance between NASA and the EDC. This regional initiative is part of NASA’s national pilot program for Regional Economic Development (RED) to provide small and medium-sized manufacturers and technology-based companies access to NASA’s subject matter experts, advanced technologies, and capabilities. These companies have the opportunity to draw on NASA resources both at the Kennedy Space Center and across the nation.
Since 2015 the local program has consulted with 85 companies and provided one-on-one subject matter expert assistance (SME) to 14 companies identified through the annual application process.
“The RED Program is how NASA can use its tremendous talent and capabilities to return a dividend to local communities. This program allows NASA to engage with area companies to help them overcome technological challenges and bring new or better products to market faster than otherwise possible; thereby leading to faster job creation and economic growth,” said Robert Ashley, RED project lead for KSC.
Ashley said sometimes companies need the reassurance that they are headed in the right direction. Other times, they need additional consultations and technical assistance.
“The EDC and NASA partnership provides technology enabling resources and subject matter expertise to help local industry grow,” said Dr. Abram Walton, EDC Innovation Council Chair and Professor – College of Business at the Florida Institute of Technology. “These kinds of resources help build the foundation for an innovative ecosystem and a strong manufacturing sector.”
Up to five (5) regional companies will be competitively selected from those participating in the industry needs assessment. An independent review committee will be convened by the EDC and NASA to evaluate all responses and select participants. There is still time to apply! To be eligible for NASA services, regional companies must complete the online Technology Docking Industry Needs Assessment by June 30, 2017.
Participating Company Stories
SeaDek Marine Products – 2016
Rockledge based SeaDek Marine Products was one of five companies selected in 2016 to participate in the SME Assistance program. SeaDek’s challenge was specific to an existing material limitation impacting the company’s signature non-skid decking products made locally. Through the Technology Docking SME Assistance program SeaDek was paired with experts from the Cryogenics Test Laboratory (CTL) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to further evaluate the type of foam (closed-cell EVA) the company was using for its padded non-skid decking material.
“As a progressive manufacturing company doing business in the heart of the Space Coast, working with our neighbors at Kennedy Space Center was a natural fit,” said Kurt Wilson, SeaDek CEO. “We have spent many years breaking down material boundaries, and the assistance from NASA and the EDC brings fresh insight and resources to our mission as a company.”
Alluvionic – 2016
Alluvionic of Melbourne, was one of five companies selected in 2016 to participate in the SME Assistance program. The company is an innovative solutions provider focused on project management, process improvement and engineering product design. Through the program Alluvionic has interfaced with subject matter experts at both NASA’s Langley Research Center and the Kennedy Space Center to assist with the structural analysis of Alluvionic’s patent-pending vectored thrust technology, used for aviation and unmanned aerial systems.
“We are thrilled to express our appreciation for the opportunity provided by the Technology Docking SME Assistance program. This provided us with the unique platform to collaborate with some of the most innovative minds in the country and obtain their feedback on our innovative technology. Through this program, we were able to leverage cutting-edge simulation resources at NASA, substantially reduce the cost for our design analysis, as well as gain their credibility along with partners such as Sensenich. It provided invaluable contacts within NASA. It was such a success for our growing company, we are now positioned to get the crucial analysis to turn concept into practice,” says Ricardo Romeu, Alluvionic, Vice President of Engineering
GeNO, LLC. – 2015
GeNO LLC, a biopharmaceutical company in Cocoa, was a 2015 participant SME Assistance program. The company produces nitric oxide drug delivery products for a variety of therapeutic uses. GeNO pursued the program to assist with fluid dynamic analysis and thermal modeling to verify the gas evolution process within the reaction vessel of their medical device.
“The Technology Docking Program was a productive experience for GeNO LLC,” said Ryan Denton, an engineer with the company. “The subject-matter experts assisted us in a search for an answer that would have taken us an additional two years to find on our own.”
About the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast
The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) is dedicated to attracting new business and investment, and expanding existing industry throughout the Space Coast; promoting the Space Coast; influencing change on government laws and regulations; affecting economic development; supporting efforts of Space Coast military installations; and relaying new programs and procedures to assist manufacturing and high-tech companies. The EDC is a private, not-for-profit coalition whose stakeholders are business leaders committed to the economic growth and stability of Florida’s Space Coast. Visit SpaceCoastEDC.org
About NASA/Kennedy Space Center
On July 29, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Public Law 85-568, creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, also known as NASA. In July 1962, the agency established its Launch Operations Center on Florida’s east coast and renamed it in late 1963 to honor the president who put America on the path to the moon. NASA’s john F. Kennedy Space Center has helped set the stage for America’s adventure in space for more than four decades. The center has served as the departure gate for every American manned mission and hundreds of advanced scientific spacecraft. From the early days of Project Mercury to the space shuttle and International Space Station, from the Hubble Space Telescope to the Mars Exploration Rovers and most recently the Exploration Flight Test of the Orion spacecraft, the center enjoys a rich heritage in its vital role as NASA’s processing and launch center. Kennedy is transitioning to become a world-class multi-user launch complex supporting both government and commercial customers. As the nation embarks on a new chapter in space exploration, Kennedy will continue to make history. For more information on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center visit:www.nasa.gov/kennedy