As the Acting Director for the Office of Technology Transition (OTT), Ms. Cynthia Gonsalves is responsible for formulating policies and establishing and managing programs that transition advanced technologies from research and development (R&D) to weapons systems in an affordable manner to assist in the commercialization of defense technologies. OTT is federally mandated by Congress under the following authorities: 15 U.S.C. 3710-15, Technology Innovation; 10 U.S.C. 2515, Office of Technology Transition; and 10 U.S.C. 2359a, Technology Transition Initiative.
The CHIPS staff heard Ms. Gonsalves' presentation to the U.S. Joint Forces Industry Symposium in July 2007 and asked her to discuss the critical work of the OTT in accelerating technology into defense systems in December. David Appler, an OTT staff assistant, also joined the discussion in December 2007.
CHIPS: Your presentation discussing the work of the OTT at the USJFCOM Industry Symposium was fascinating.
Ms. Gonsalves: I am in the Office of Technology Transition, which is uniquely positioned in the Defense Department within the Director of Defense Research and Engineering and under the Deputy Under Secretary for Advanced Systems and Concepts. We have the opportunity to have five programs in our office. Some have funding that allows us to work with the private sector and with the Defense Department laboratories in transferring as well as transitioning technology to the private sector and to programs of record.
The programs are: Technology Transfer; Technology Transition Initiative (TTI); Manufacturing Technology Program (ManTech); the Defense Production Act Title III; and North American Technology and Industrial Base Organization (NATIBO).
CHIPS: Are you working with mature technology or technologies that are going to be available 10 to 20 years down the road?
Ms. Gonsalves: We are looking at both areas: at mature technology and at technology innovations. We are trying to accelerate the use of technology, whether it has just been invented, is just ready to go to market, or whether it is technology that we've known about but have not inserted into any of our systems yet. We are looking for innovation and transition pathways.
CHIPS: Would you like to explain the OTT's programs?
Ms. Gonsalves: Certainly, I would love to talk about our programs. The Manufacturing Technology Program is a congressionally authorized program that allows us to invest in production processes that are pervasive across systems, platforms or components where we can scale up the manufacturing process to meet requirements for the Defense Department.
We have several examples of that from the 1950s where we developed the original numerically controlled machine tools all the way through current efforts in fielding of lightweight body armor and composites affordability initiatives. Several things are going on there, and we see this program as a growing one across the department.
For the Defense Production Act Title III Program, we have authority to do some unique things working with the private sector. We can create or expand production capacity for national security needs; we can establish partnerships and provide other incentives to industry.
Under Title III, we can provide engineering support to improve quality and yield. We can make purchases for process validation and qualification tests. We can provide support to develop strategic business and marketing plans for the companies. We can purchase or install production equipment, and we can provide the guaranteed market so that companies have a production capability that they are gearing up to meet.
Some of the things we have done are modernizing the domestic manufacturing capabilities for radiation-hardened electronics, providing technology for laser-protective eyewear to U.S.