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NEWS & EVENTS

Department of Defense Announces Winner of 2022 George F. Linsteadt Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer

NEWS RELEASE: November 18, 2022

The DoD Technology Transfer (T2) program recently announced the winner of the George F. Linsteadt Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer for Fiscal Year 2022. This year’s recipients are Alan Jaeger, Manager of the Office of Research and Technology Applications at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) and Director of the Naval Expeditions Agility Office (NavalX) Ventura Tech Bridge, and Mark Thompson, Manager of the Office of Research and Technology Applications at the Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center.

“DoD T2 is the intentional sharing of knowledge, expertise, facilities, equipment, and other resources that benefit the DoD and private sector. T2 typically occurs through public private partnerships like Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) and invention licenses,” said Dr. Steven G. Wax, Acting Deputy CTO for Science & Technology. “Impact studies have shown that T2 between the DoD and the innovation ecosystem have resulted in over $100 billion in total economic impact and over $9 billion in sales or transition back to the DoD. We are honored to recognize Mr. Jaeger and Mr. Thompson for their leadership and outstanding contribution to the Department and the Nation. Their work exemplifies the Department’s commitment to partnering with the science and technology innovation enterprise through T2.”

Mr. Jaeger and Mr. Thompson have accomplished a great deal together during their careers in technology transfer. They started working together in 2019 at the NSWC PHD Technology Transfer Office coordinating the laboratory’s Coastal Trident program, a government-industry research and experimentation effort aimed at advancing the state-of-the-art in port and maritime security and critical infrastructure. They invested significant time establishing relationships and building partnerships with government, industry, and academia, all key participants in the success of Costal Trident.

As T2 leaders at their respective laboratories, Mr. Jaeger and Mr. Thompson worked continuously to bring their two Navy laboratories closer together and to better integrate them with regional and state economic development initiatives as well as the national technology transfer community. Their most recent and notable contribution to the technology transfer community was the birth of Fathomwerx—a unique and innovative technology transfer initiative that would ultimately pull in multiple federal laboratories, Navy programs, state and local government efforts, and commercial and academic research and development.

The pair executed a string of successful partnerships founded on the goals of collaborative R&D, advancing innovation and technology, and improving economic development to successfully bring Fathomwerx from concept to implementation. Jaeger recounted, “We knew we couldn’t work just within our commands, within the Navy. We recognized the fact that there is a lot of interesting, good technology development happening outside of the base, outside of our traditional stovepipes.”

In November 2019, the pair led the opening of Fathomwerx, a 60,000 square facility with meeting spaces, high-speed commercial internet, and a stage with audio/video equipment. It houses wood and metal lathes, three-dimensional metal and plastic printers, thermal imaging and material characterization equipment, and a mixed-reality lab space. Researchers can manufacture, experiment, and test materials for weathering and corrosion in the lab’s maker space and microclimate chamber, test underwater submersibles in a 75,000-gallon above-ground water tank, or experiment with unmanned aerial vehicles in a 50,000 cubic foot indoor drone cage. These resources were made available to laboratory personnel, along with industry and academia partners for accelerated prototyping, testing, and demonstrations. With the Fathomwerx facility, researchers could more readily engage with external partners, highlight their intellectual property and research and development portfolios, and see where industry technology is headed to influence their own research and development.

In one example, NSWC PHD and the team's CRADA partner, Transhield, were able to use the Fathomwerx facility to create a mock-up, develop prototypes, and conduct initial radio frequency testing of new materials that would prevent radio frequency energy penetration. The material would become part of a new protective cover for Navy ship equipment that would prevent characterization of systems (and therefore capabilities) using radio frequency energy.

Fathomwerx represented a significant shift in the way that DoD laboratories and the private sector interact. Mr. Jaeger and Mr. Thompsons’s efforts to publicize the newfound collaboration, its successes, and future potential, helped DoD laboratory personnel and prospective local industry and academia partners understand the opportunity and overcome the cultural challenges that often come with new and different ways of doing business. They also exposed their laboratories to the community as a resource for expertise and intellectual property that could enable economic development. “We all have skin in the game,” Jaeger said. “We developed it from the ground up so that it was relevant to each entity. This was the cool part of designing and building it, and what’s made it successful.”

More Information

For more information about DoD T2, visit https://rt.cto.mil/rtl-labs/tech-transfer

To learn more about the George Linsteadt Award and previous winners, visit https://rt.cto.mil/george-f-linsteadt-award-for-excellence-in-technology-transfer.

To learn more about the FATHOMERX Lab, visit https://www.fathomwerx.com/.

About USD(R&E)

The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E) is the Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Defense. The USD(R&E) champions research, science, technology, engineering, and innovation to maintain the United States military’s technological advantage. Learn more at www.cto.mil, follow us on Twitter @DoDCTO, or visit us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/ousdre.

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