2008 Service - Representative of the Year Far West

As Head of the Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA) for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center – San Diego (SSC San Diego), Dr. Stephen Lieberman is leading federal technology transfer in new directions, as a mentor to young business and research professionals and through his ambitious schedule of outreach to industry nationwide and local entrepreneurs. His influence is magnified through his other role as the Technical Program Manager for the Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology (CCAT), a congressionally supported program to promote public-private partnerships between industry, academia, and government that is focused on commercializing early-stage technologies with applications for the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. Dr. Lieberman’s many contributions to technology transfer have had positive, real-world outcomes far beyond SSC San Diego, through his interwoven connections with other government entities, private businesses, and universities. His leadership in federal outreach to industry is recognized by his peers, with his recent election as Far West Regional Coordinator—representing more than 75 federal laboratories and facilities in 8 western states (i.e., Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington). Dr. Lieberman’s energetic promotion of technology transfer programs has significantly expanded ORTA and CCAT efforts at SSC San Diego. As ORTA, he facilitates the commercialization of technologies developed by SSC San Diego and manages a portfolio of approximately 400 patents and patent licenses. Since he began in 2004, technology transfer funding handled annually in the ORTA office has risen from about $20,000- $40,000 to this year’s potential for multimillion-dollar agreements in their final stages. Dr. Lieberman does not focus solely on building innovative, nontraditional collaborations between industry and federal laboratories. Looking toward the future, he also assures the continued vitality of technology transfer through his extensive efforts to educate tomorrow’s investors and inventors. At CCAT, he implemented the successful Student Intern Program, which gives graduate students from the University of California and San Diego State University the opportunity to learn technology transfer up close with real Navy inventions as examples. Dr. Lieberman’s ongoing collaborations with the diverse communities so essential to successful commercialization—from inventors in federal labs to local manufacturers—are leading federal technology transfer in productive directions. His farsighted emphasis on building opportunities for future inventors and investors addresses the much-noted need for a more globally competitive U.S. technology sector, as well as for enhanced capabilities in national security.
Award Year: 
Far West