At its heart, technology transfer is about connecting ideas, people, and purpose.
These kinds of connections—with a large measure of creative thinking, innovation, and collaboration—led to the creation of the resoundingly successful Military 2 Market (M2M) program, a new kind of partnership between the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) and Ball State University’s (BSU) nationally ranked Entrepreneurship Center (EC) in the Miller College of Business.
M2M is a two-year, two-stage program for BSU students. In stage one, the Business Concept phase, junior entrepreneurship students work with actual NSWC Crane technologies.
Filling the role of marketing specialists, students provide detailed assessments of the commercial potential of Navy technologies in return for one-of-a-kind professional experience.
The students, with full access to Navy intellectual property and the researchers who developed it, craft commercialization studies for potential businesses based on the military applications of the technology. Filling the role of marketing specialists, students provide detailed assessments of the commercial potential of Navy technologies in return for one-of-a-kind professional experience. In stage two, the M2M Design phase, seniors create business plans around the technologies for presentation at national competitions.
From January 2010 to May 2012, M2M spawned four startup companies and nine transferred inventions, including a realistic skin substitute, a battery-operated laser cutter to help first responders free trapped accident victims, and turning a secure military analog and digital data system into a black-box tracking device with applications for safe transportation of school children and the elderly and disabled.
In April 2011, U.S. News & World Report put the Military 2 Market program at the top of its list of “10 College Classes That Impact the Outside World.” The program was also featured in the August 2011 issue of the National Defense Industry Association’s business and technology magazine, National Defense.