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The goal of the Technology Transfer (TT) Section is to accelerate the use of restorative technology to help US veterans with disabilities to be as functional and independent as possible. To accomplish this goal, the TT Section has two main objectives. One is to bring products of the Rehabilitation R&D Center to market, and the other is to disseminate information about the work of the Center.
Technology transfer aims to bring the technologies and methods developed at the Center into use by the people who need them. This means transferring useful products to manufacturers for commercialization and availability for purchase by persons with disabilities or by clinicians who use them in treatment. The passage of the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 by Congress authorized local federal laboratories to negotiate and enter into agreements directly with industry for the purpose of commercializing government technologies. The strategic plan for approaching the objective of bringing products to market is comprised or the followmg three programs:
- Product recruitment: identifying potential new products and core technologies from within the three technical sections of the Center as well as collaborative sources outside the Center.
- Product evaluation: identifying criteria and methods for screening projects for commercial potential and facilitating the formal clinical evaluation of projects.
- Product availability: developing and maintaining manufacturer contacts, disseminating information, negotiating agreements and licenses, and offering advice and assistance to technical staff regarding legal and regulatory matters.
Dissemination of information about the Rehab R&D Center is extremely important. It is the way that the world outside the Center learns of the work accomplished here. The primary product of the Orthopedic Biomechanics and the Neuromuscular Systems sections is knowledge, and that knowledge must reach researchers and clinicians effectively for maximum benefit. The primary product of the Human Machine Integration section is restorative technology, which must reach manufacturers and clinicians to be made available and used. There are three primary methods by which the TT Section accomplishes the objective of getting information out appropriately.
- Publications; producing publications that provide information on the results of projects underway at the Center to clinicians, potential partners and manufacturers, and the general public.
- Presentation materials: preparing exhibits and report materials for presentation by the Center staff at technical meetings and conferences.
- Public relations media: providing to the press documentation and reporting media that represents the work of the Center for the general public.