Through the Space Act Agreement, a partnership between the TriTech Small Business Development Center (SBDC) hosted by Riverside Community College District (RCCD) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), TriTech SBDC links NASA federal laboratory technology and resources (subject matter experts, use of facilities, and equipment) to the academic and business community.
This agreement enables the partners to form a vibrant and sustainable innovation / economic engine, which results in creation and retention of jobs, new business starts, access to capital, products and services being launched and the commercialization of NASA technology. The TriTech SBDC / Riverside Community College District was selected to be the first Small Business Development Center among the network of a thousand SBDC’s in the nation hosted by a college or university to enter into such an agreement with NASA.
Improving Regional Economic Development
The Space Act Agreement aims to improve regional economic development by convening assets from Southern California including federal resources (subject matter experts, use of facilities, and equipment) from NASA and other governmental agencies to form a vibrant and sustainable innovation/economic engine.
Ultimately, this new endeavor aims to:
- create and retain jobs
- start new businesses
- provide access to capital
- launch new products and services
- support commercialization of NASA technologies
NASA’s Regional Economic Development Program (RED) in partnership with TriTech helps build sustainable innovation clusters by truly connecting stakeholders with mutual interests and collaborating with area technology groups to foster new ideas and products. Through RED efforts, companies can improve their products, capabilities, and ultimately, their growth.
Facilitating Technology Transfer and Commercialization of NASA Technologies
NASA Armstrong* and TriTech SBDC will also help facilitate the technology transfer** and commercialization of NASA technologies in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego through the Space Act Agreement. Further, TriTech and NASA Armstrong will work together to establish connections with private investors and universities for sponsored research for the purpose of commercializing NASA technologies.
Growing SBIR/STTR Outreach
Through the Space Act Agreement, NASA Armstrong and TriTech SBDC will grow NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research***/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) outreach efforts by bringing 10% of small companies into the program annually. In order to do that efficiently, NASA Armstrong will work together closely with TriTech to reach the small business community to inform them about the SBIR/STTR program.
*NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, is one of the agency’s 10 field centers. NASA Armstrong supports the agency by providing flight research and development for NASA aeronautics, and global flight operations and development for NASA science in support of astrophysics and earth science. Armstrong supports the agency’s human space flight and space technology efforts through atmospheric flight validation.
**Technology transfer is the process by which existing knowledge, facilities, or capabilities developed under federal R&D funding are utilized to fulfill public and private needs.
***Small Businesses Innovation Research (SBIR) is a competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Small businesses often have difficulty competing with larger technology companies due to lack of capital for their research and development work which is crucial for getting from planning to deployment stages. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs. The mission of the SBIR program is to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy.