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Air Force expands use of express licensing

  • Published
  • By Mindy Cooper
  • Air Force Technology Transfer Program

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Air Force is increasing the number of technologies available through its express licensing process, providing a quicker and more efficient way for partners to begin product development.


“Express licensing is a streamlined collaboration platform where the financial terms are pre-negotiated, the license agreement is pre-approved, and the application, review, and processing of licenses is conducted efficiently online,” said Darin Oelkers, the senior technology manager in charge of express licensing at TechLink.


TechLink, a center within Montana State University’s Office of Research and Economic Development, is a Department of Defense partnership intermediary that specializes in marketing and licensing DOD technology to the commercial industry. The center developed the first express license for the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate’s Android Team Awareness Kit, also known as ATAK. This effort helped establish ATAK as the standard for communication and situational awareness on mobile platforms.


“Express licensing was chosen because it could quickly and easily get the technology in the hands of developers for broad distribution and further improvements,” said Oelkers. “One express license was completed in only 13 business days. Most traditional license agreements take months to negotiate and complete.”


In the case of ATAK licenses, TechLink developed a system that permits companies to apply online and the Information Directorate to quickly review and approve the license requests.  As a result, a license agreement is automatically generated. More than 100 ATAK invention licenses have been completed as of June 1, 2018.


Because of that success several DOD laboratories also have opted to offer express licenses for selected technologies. Other AFRL directorates recently joined the effort, including both the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate and the 711th Human Performance Wing, which began offering express licenses in March 2018. The Aerospace Systems Directorate is in the process of adding technologies as well.


"This method of licensing saves the government time and enables industry partners to quickly access some of our most valuable IP on pre-negotiated terms," said Stefan Susta, technology transfer specialist for the Aerospace Systems Directorate. “It streamlines the process while providing transparency and efficiency.”


TechLink currently has 221 DOD technologies available for express licensing, 63 of which belong to the Air Force. The number of Air Force technologies available via express licensing is expected to exceed 100 in early 2019.


For more information about express licensing, please call TechLink at (406) 994-7700.