Elizabeth Brooke Pyne
In November 2014, Brooke Pyne was designated the Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA) Representative and Technology Transfer (T2) Manager at Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (Crane), a Navy laboratory located in rural Indiana, hours away from any major urban area. Location notwithstanding, Crane has become a beacon of light in the United States, an innovative engineering center that solves tough technological challenges for national security. The lab employs over 2200 scientists, engineers, and technicians to fulfill its mission in the areas of electronic warfare, strategic systems (e.g., microelectronics, counterfeit detection, anti-tamper, etc.), and special missions (Special Forces hardware and weapons systems such as small arms and night vision, etc.).
When Pyne assumed leadership of the Crane T2 program, she inherited an award-winning program. While it was successful, the program was really a “startup” that had demonstrated its potential value to the lab and potential partners through vigorous T2 efforts. Ms. Pyne rode the crest of that wave and provided what was required to take the program to the next plateau—the leadership and management skillset that built the infrastructure to transform a “startup” capability to a highly viable and sustainable program—a T2 program that executes the lab’s outreach through individual strategic partnerships and innovative transactions.
Pyne has demonstrated exceptional service and leadership, innovative approaches to T2, and dramatic impact. During her tenure, a record number of licenses and cooperative R&D agreements have been signed; a record number of invention disclosures and patents have been filed; Crane has won (to date) three national and two regional FLC awards; and has successfully attracted and leveraged approximately $1M in government funding and university resources for T2 activities.
The future is wide open, and the impact of Pyne’s T2 program appears to be unlimited. The Lilly Endowment (founded originally with stock from the Eli Lilly Company) recently established a $16M grant for joint collaboration between Crane and local universities─T2 is specifically cited in the grant. The governor of Indiana recently announced a 10-year $1B initiative for innovation and entrepreneurship, with Crane and its assets as key components. Pyne’s T2 program is at a critical juncture where the lab can engage and collaborate with non-federal entities, opening doors never before opened. Simply put, Crane T2 has a seat at the table due to Pyne’s leadership.