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NPD 7500.2B
Effective Date: July 17, 2009
Expiration Date: January 17, 2014
Printable Format (PDF)

(NASA Only)

Subject: NASA Innovative Partnerships Program

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Technologist


a. This NASA Policy Directive establishes policy for the Innovative Partnerships Program (IPP). The IPP provides needed technology and capabilities for NASA's Mission Directorates' programs and projects through investments and partnerships with industry, academia, Government agencies, and national laboratories. The IPP also facilitates the transfer of technology developed by NASA for commercial application and other benefits to the Nation. The IPP seeks to stimulate innovation through nontraditional technology development and provides support to NASA's education and outreach activities.

b. The following programmatic activities make up the IPP:

(1) Technology Infusion, which includes joint technology development with external entities for the purpose of advancing commercially available technologies which may benefit NASA missions and providing funding and/or resources to commercial companies to permit the private development of technologies of interest to NASA.

(2) Technology Transfer, which includes the licensing or other transfer of NASA-owned or originated technology to State and local governments and to the private sector.

(3) Intellectual Property Management, facilitating the protection of commercially valuable inventions in which NASA owns a right, title, or interest, administering the NASA invention license portfolio, and administering the NASA software release program.

(4) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, which implement U.S. Government policy to ensure that appropriate funding is available to support small business research and development.

(5) Implementation of NASA's Prize Authority, which permits the Agency to carry out a program to competitively award cash prizes to stimulate innovation in basic and applied research, technology development, and prototype demonstration.

(6) Support NASA initiatives in science, education, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education through sponsoring innovative partnerships and programs targeted toward U.S. students at all levels.

(7) Support NASA outreach activities by publishing and publicly promoting NASA technology spinoffs and the practical application of NASA- developed technologies to enhance the lives of people on Earth and in space.

(8) Support professional development opportunities for NASA technical personnel by providing opportunities for training and development in areas relating to technology transfer and partnership development.

(9) Support Agency reporting requirements and maintenance of appropriate metrics on Innovative Partnership Program activities.

c. Implementation of NASA's Innovative Partnerships Program is carried out by the Innovative Partnership Program Office (IPPO) by proactively engaging Mission Directorates for the purposes of gaining a strong knowledge of, and remaining cognizant of, current technology requirements for both the long term and short term. IPPO shall seek to fulfill the identified technology needs of the Mission Directorates through implementing the following requirements:

(1) Technology Infusion.

(a) IPPO shall identify partnering opportunities with the private sector, Government, and other external entities for joint development of Federal and dual-use technologies to meet Mission Directorate requirements.

(b) IPPO shall support identified Mission Directorate technology requirements by performing market research within the commercial technology sector to identify candidates for partnership and sources for appropriate commercial technologies applicable or adaptable to NASA mission needs.

(c) IPPO shall support identified Mission Directorate technology requirements by providing funding, personnel, and agreement management support to implement appropriate partnership activities.

(d) IPPO shall provide commercial enterprises and start-up companies with access to unique NASA facilities and NASA expertise to help lower barriers of entry for the development of commercial capability in areas of interest to NASA.

(e) IPPO Center offices shall facilitate Space Act Agreements for the purposes of establishing terms of partnership collaborations, which terms shall include the projects' meeting NASA Safety and Mission Assurance requirements, unless a waiver is granted.

(2) Technology Transfer.

(a) IPPO shall facilitate the transfer of NASA technology, including software, to the private sector as well as to other Government agencies and academia, as required by law, to promote the commercialization and public availability of Federally-owned inventions to benefit the national economy and the U.S. public.

(b) IPPO shall negotiate licenses in coordination and consultation with Center Patent/Intellectual Property Counsel, or their designee(s), so as to promote the invention's utilization by the public by ensuring the licensee bring the invention to practical application within a reasonable time.

(c) IPPO shall assure that the transfer of information and technology is in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and NASA policies in conformance with NASA's rights and obligations, and consistent with guarding against the transfer of information or technology which threatens national or economic security.

(3) Intellectual Property Management.

(a) IPPO shall facilitate the protection of the Government's rights in NASA-owned or originated new technologies and inventions, including software, by administering the process and mechanisms for reporting of such new technologies and inventions developed by NASA employees and under NASA contracts, grants, and other agreements.

(b) IPPO shall provide commercial assessments of reported new technologies and inventions in which NASA owns a right, title, or interest, to facilitate intellectual property protection and commercialization of such new technologies and inventions having commercial potential.

(c) IPPO, in consultation and cooperation with the Agency Counsel for Intellectual Property and the Center Patent or Intellectual Property Counsels, or designee(s), shall administer the NASA licensing portfolio in accordance with NPD 2090.6.

(d) IPPO, in consultation and cooperation with the Agency Counsel for Intellectual Property and the Center Patent or Intellectual Property Counsels, or designee(s), shall administer the software release program in accordance with NPR 2210.1.

(4) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs.

(a) IPPO shall develop topics, in coordination with Mission Directorates, in areas of technology that fulfill mission program research and development needs.

(b) IPPO shall announce annual program solicitations that set forth a substantial number of research and development topics and subtopic areas consistent with stated Agency needs or missions, conduct competitions among the various submitted proposals, and manage the award process for funding agreements under both SBIR and STTR programs.

(c) IPPO shall encourage NASA use of Phase III SBIR/STTR follow on contract awards for the commercialization phase of technologically viable products and services.

(d) IPPO shall conduct active outreach and information exchange to increase SBIR/STTR participation by small, disadvantaged, and women-owned businesses.

(5) Prize Authority.

(a) IPPO shall consult widely, both inside and outside the Federal Government, to select topics that have the potential for application to the performance of the space and aeronautical activities of NASA.

(b) IPPO shall formulate appropriate prize competitions sufficient to engage the private sector to stimulate innovation in areas identified as having potential for application to the performance of the space and aeronautical activities of NASA.

(c) IPPO shall be responsible for the conduct and administration of all prize competitions in accordance with the provisions of the Space Act, 42 U.S.C. ยบ 2459f-1.

(d) IPPO shall engage with prize competitors to appropriately identify any technology development of interest to NASA and shall engage with such competitor to identify opportunities for Technology Infusion activities.

(6) Education Support.

IPPO shall coordinate with the Office of Education to support NASA education activities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through initiating and funding partnerships to encourage student engagement in innovative approaches to NASA mission requirements.

(7) Outreach Support.

(a) IPPO shall administer programs designed to disseminate information concerning NASA technologies, and provide support for exhibits, displays, and demonstrations of NASA technology in coordination with public and private sector entities.

(b) IPPO shall conduct outreach activities to promulgate NASA mission technology infusion needs and NASA technology transfer licensing opportunities.

(8) Professional Development for NASA Technical Personnel.

(a) IPPO shall, in cooperation with the Office of Human Capital Management and the Office of Chief Engineer, provide opportunities for NASA personnel to participate in detail assignments to U.S. commercial firms and Government facilities/laboratories with the objective of developing knowledge of the hosting organization's best practices and successful innovations in order to apply such knowledge in their NASA duties.

(b) IPPO shall provide NASA technical personnel with the opportunity to visit U.S. commercial firms and Government facilities/laboratories for workshops with the objective of developing knowledge on the hosting organization's best practices and successful innovations in order to improve NASA processes and practices and to leverage those relationships for future partnerships to further additional IPPO program activities.

(9) Agency Reporting Obligations and Metrics.

IPPO shall collect, provide, validate, and maintain quality partnerships, licensing, success stories, and intellectual property management data in the NASA Technology Transfer System (NTTS) information system supporting communication to the public of NASA and NASA-derived technologies and innovations.


a. This NPD is applicable to NASA Headquarters and NASA Field Centers, including Component Facilities, and to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to the extent specified in its contract.

b. Nothing in this NPD shall affect the authority or responsibilities of the Assistant Administrator for Procurement concerning grants and cooperative agreements, as set forth in 14 CFR Part 1260, Grants and Cooperative Agreements, 14 CFR Part 1274, Cooperative Agreements with Commercial Firms, and NPR 5800.1, Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook.

c. Nothing in this NPD shall affect the authority or responsibilities of the Mission Directorate Associate Administrators, the Officials-in-Charge of Headquarters Offices, the Directors of NASA Centers, and the Manager of the NASA Management Office-Jet Propulsion Laboratory to set policy and provide leadership within their areas of jurisdiction.


a. 42 U.S.C. 2473(c)(1), Section 203(c)(1) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended.

b. 15 U.S.C. 3701 et seq., Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-480), as amended.

c. 35 U.S.C. 200 et seq., Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-517), as amended.

d. 15 U.S.C. 631 et seq., Small Business Innovation Development Act of (1982 P.L. 97-219), as amended.

e. 14 CFR Subpart 1245.1, Patent Waiver Regulations.


a. NPD 2090.6, Authority To Enter Into License Agreements and Implementation of Licensing Authority.

b. NPR 2210.1, External Release of NASA Software.


a. The Director, Innovative Partnerships Program Office, is responsible for overall implementation of the Innovative Partnerships Program within NASA.

b. The Center Innovative Partnership Program Chiefs are responsible for the implementation of the Innovative Partnerships Program at the NASA Centers under the direction of the Director, Innovative Partnerships Program Office.

c. The NASA General Counsel (for Headquarters Innovative Partnerships Program activities) and Center Chief Counsels (for Center Innovative Partnerships Program activities) are responsible for reviewing all activities in support of the requirements of this NPD for compliance with applicable law and policy.




NASA has defined a set of technology development partnership and commercialization metrics, approved by the Office of Management and Budget, for the purposes of measuring NASA's innovative partnerships program. The metrics capture aspects of technology infusion and technology transfer out success as well as program implementation efficiencies.


NPD 7500.2, NASA Technology Commercialization Policy (Revalidation 4/26/04).

/s/ Christopher Scolese
Acting Administrator



a. NPD 1000.3, The NASA Organization.

b. NPD 1050.1, Authority to Enter into Space Act Agreements.

c. NPD 1440.6, NASA Records Management.

d. NPR 1441.1, NASA Records Retention Schedule.

e. NPR 1600.1, NASA Security Program Procedural Requirements.

f. NPD 2091.1, Inventions Made by Government Employees.

g. NPR 2092.1, Distribution of Royalties and Other Payments Received by NASA from the Licensing or Assignment of Inventions.

h. NPD 2110.F, Foreign Access to NASA Technology Transfer Materials.

i. NPD 2190.1A, NASA Export Control Program.

j. NPD 2200.1, Management of NASA Scientific and Technical Information (STI).

k. NPR 2810.1, Security of Information Technology.

l. NPR 7120.5, NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Requirements.

m. NPR 7120.7, NASA Information Technology and Institutional Infrastructure Programs and Project Management Requirements.

n. NPR 7120.8, NASA Research and Technology Program and Project Management Requirements.

o. NPR 7500.1, NASA Technology Transfer Process Document w/Change 1.

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