Email this Article Email   

CHIPS Articles: NRL Tech Transfer Office Forges Collaboration with Tech Incubator

NRL Tech Transfer Office Forges Collaboration with Tech Incubator
By Jonathan B. Holloway, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Public Affairs - February 4, 2019
WASHINGTON — The Technology Transfer Office at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory forged a strategic partnership with 1776, the nation’s largest network of entrepreneurial incubators, to foster innovative-intellectual exchange and gainful collaborative agreements.

At 1776, promising tech-enabled startups, investors, corporate partners and government agencies in innovation-driven industries, collide in a central location where meaningful exchange between markets, talent and capital take place.

“This partnership will provide NRL scientists with the opportunity to engage with innovators and investors in the private sector,” said Amanda Horansky McKinney, head of NRL’s Technology Transfer Office. “NRL and tech startups are similar in their focus on cutting-edge technology and innovation, but an active, ongoing dialogue between our communities hasn’t yet existed.”

Gaining early visibility of new technology-driven markets can help NRL researchers understand the culture, mindset and tools tech startups use to think differently about the future — an advantage that can be leveraged in developing future naval capabilities.

“The current pilot program will last for one year and will provide a new perspective of the innovation ecosystem and more opportunities for collaborative research, and other partnerships, that we may not have otherwise,” said McKinney.

NRL’s strategic partnership with 1776 offers access to new tech companies who see problems through a different lens and create new solutions — offering insight into new networks of innovators.

To navigate government-dominated markets, 1776 intentionally chose to locate their first two campuses in the Greater Washington Metropolitan region. This strategic move has enabled the firm to search for avenues that can drive massive scale revenue and forge proprietary connections like that with NRL.

Jennifer Maher, chief executive officer of 1776, is confident that partnerships like this will provide resolution for challenges facing the world today.

“Our world is facing daunting challenges requiring solutions from collaborative and strategic partnerships and we are excited to pair our entrepreneur ingenuity and expertise in commercialization with the research and intellectual rigor from the NRL,” said Maher.

According to Maher, profitability will be an attribute of NRL’s return on investment resulting from this partnership.

“We are hopeful that this partnership will accelerate the transfer of knowledge into solutions and profit at much higher rates,” said Maher.

1776 also offers professional settings and space outside of NRL’s gates for meetings and aligns with the objective of producing collaboration on all fronts, such as the recent Innovation Discovery Event (IDE) for NRL on Nov. 28, 2018.

During the IDE, four NRL researchers presented to a panel of private and public, research and development professionals, with representatives from the Office of Secretary of Defense, while private-industry leaders provided viable feedback.

For more information about NRL’s strategic partnership with 1776 contact the NRL Technology Transfer Office at or 202-767-7230.

WASHINGTON — 1776’s host walks center-stage before the Innovation Discovery Event, where four NRL researchers presented to a panel of private and public, research and development professionals on Nov. 28, 2018. As the nation’s largest network of entrepreneurial incubators, 1776 offers access to a global network of connections with established institutions and corporations, influencers, expert mentors, and investors. Here, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is able to work in collaborative spaces where researchers can be inspired and participate in gainful intellectual exchange. Photo by Cecilia Sequeira, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
WASHINGTON — During the Innovation Discovery Event at 1776, Dr. Xiao Liu, from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s acoustics division, presents his research on a 2D silicon material, silicene. Liu discusses the use of the material for transistors and other cost-effective applications, while a panel of private and public, research and development professionals provided valuable feedback. Photo by Gayle Fullerton, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
Related CHIPS Articles
Related DON CIO News
Related DON CIO Policy

CHIPS is an official U.S. Navy website sponsored by the Department of the Navy (DON) Chief Information Officer, the Department of Defense Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) and the DON's ESI Software Product Manager Team at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.

Online ISSN 2154-1779; Print ISSN 1047-9988
Hyperlink Disclaimer