Honors Gallery

2010 Corrosion-resistant ceramic-porcelain enamel for bonding concrete to steel Midwest

Award: Excellence in Technology Transfer

Year: 2010

Award Type:

Region: Midwest

USACE - ERDC - Construction Engineering Research Laboratory

The Builder® Sustainment Management System (SMS) is a patented software application developed by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center – Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL). This technology integrates engineering, architectural, and management methods with database management software to provide facility engineers and managers with a science-based decision support tool for property maintenance and planning programs. The automated capabilities of BUILDER® provide technically sound guidance to users at roughly one-tenth the cost of traditional engineering evaluations. It stores detailed descriptions of individual components, their time in service, material type, and calculated life cycle. BUILDER® is designed to help facility engineers and managers effectively balance maintenance requirements with budget constraints. In June 2008, the Army signed four technology transfer agreements with CALIBRE Systems, Inc., of Alexandria, Va. These agreements followed successful exploratory technology transfer efforts, including a 2007 Commercial Evaluation License for BUILDER® granted to Unity Consultants, Inc., which was subsequently acquired by CALIBRE. ERDC-CERL and CALIBRE, with assistance from TechLink of Bozeman, Mont., also have negotiated with several prospective users a commercial evaluation license for BUILDER® intellectual property for purposes of evaluating the latest version of the technology. This has proved to be a robust business strategy, and it is being applied to develop new technology partnerships based on BUILDER®. This initiative represents the first formal success based on a strategy of establishing nonexclusive licensing instruments intended to create a competitive market for the SMS. Unlike exclusive patent licensing, this approach supports the ERDC-CERL goal of ensuring that product will remain affordable for all prospective users. In spring 2009, a similar package of intellectual property agreements was signed with The Staser Consulting
Group, LLC, of Anchorage, Alaska, providing momentum for this innovative and cooperative technology transfer model. License negotiations are underway with a third partner to broaden commercial distribution and provide BUILDER®-specific training with a customer help line. Five potential partners and licensees are currently interested in commercializing BUILDER®. BUILDER® is now the enterprise standard for building maintenance for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The Army, which has a compatible established roofing system, is expected to adopt BUILDER® as its enterprise standard in the near future. The Air Force is still piloting BUILDER® for potential servicewide implementation. The DOD is considering department-wide adoption of the product. These deployments would not have required a special technology transfer initiative because DOD owns the technology and software, but ERDC-CERL’s technology transfer successes have prompted more extensive implementation of BUILDER® across DOD sites.