2009 Laboratory Director of the Year Far West
Since 1962, NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) has been collaborating with industry, academia, and other government agencies to license NASA-developed technology and to acquire from external partners strategic technologies suitable for infusion to the mission directorates. As Director, Dr. S. Pete Worden has supported the development of competitive mission proposals, the licensing of intellectual property, and the coordination of an array of educational outreach and internship programs to inspire and recruit future scientists and engineers, which are critical to sustaining a robust technology transfer network inside and outside of ARC. Dr. Worden has demonstrated a dedication to technology transfer through various methods. He is personally engaged in the partnering process and holds weekly meetings to remain updated on all key upcoming partnerships. In another strong sign of support for technology transfer and partnerships, Dr. Worden created a new directorate at ARC, the New Ventures and Communication Directorate. The Directorate integrated various business development groups at ARC, thus strengthening and streamlining technology transfer activities. The new Directorate serves as NASA’s “friendly front door” to develop mutually beneficial partnerships between NASA centers, industry, universities, nonprofits and other government agencies. By facilitating, teaming and managing these relationships, ARC is able to augment and leverage synergistic capabilities. In 2008, the new Directorate executed 70 partnership agreements valued at over $20 million. Dr. Worden has enabled and supported a range of efforts at ARC targeted at developing entrepreneurial initiatives, building collaborative partnerships, and seeding investment in promising technologies for space science and exploration. Examples include creation of the Small Spacecraft Division, where the Modular Common Spacecraft Bus was developed; partnering with Google to establish three pilot projects in the areas of clean energy and global prediction/monitoring; and developing a plan to revive the formal Naval Air Station at Moffett Field into a worldclass education and R&D center dedicated to serving the goals of the nation’s space program.