License JSC Technologies for Commercial Use
At Johnson Space Center, we are proud of our world-class researchers who continually develop new and innovative technology to benefit the space program. Your company can benefit from NASA's advances in technology through the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office.
JSC TTO helps industry benefit from our inventions by widely disseminating the technologies for scientific, academic, industrial, and commercial uses. Many of JSC's patents and patent applications are available for licensing.
In order to protect the Government's interests, the technologies are patented, marketed, and licensed to industry partners for commercial applications.
With the introduction of the Automated Technology Licensing Application System (ATLAS), transferring NASA-patented innovations to industry is easier than ever before!
How to Apply for a License
NASA JSC offers a "Standard Commercial License" which allows a non-NASA entity access to a technology, to test the technology, and to implement it into a system, service, or product that may result in sales.
The important details:
- Available to domestic and international organizations
- Exclusive, partially-exclusive, or non-exclusive
- Terms are negotiated on a case-by-case basis
NASA JSC offers an "Evaluation License" option that will allow you to have a short-term license for up to two years, providing time to explore the potential of a technology and learn if it will fit into your business development goals.
The important details:
- No pro forma statement is required for an evaluation license application
- All evaluation licenses are non-exclusive agreements.
- If another company submits a license application and it is approved, all evaluation licensees will be provided a 30-day notice.
- Evaluation licensees are not permitted to commercialize or sell the technology. A traditional commercialization license agreement must be in place before any sales can take place.
- If there is a third-party company will be help the evaluation licensee in determining if the NASA technology is marketable, the third-party company must also submit a NASA research license in order to proceed with evaluation.
- A Space Act Agreement must be in place in order for the evaluation licensee to utilize NASA’s expertise and/or facilities.
- Evaluation license will cost $2500/year, with a goal of 2 years maximum.
- There may be exceptions that would allow the evaluation license to extend past 2 years.
NASA JSC offers a "Startup License" option that is open to companies formed with the express intent of commercializing the licensed NASA technology. Startup Licenses help address two of the biggest challenges faced by startup companies: raising capital and securing intellectual property rights.
The important details:
- This offer is open only to companies formed with the express intent of commercializing the licensed NASA technology.
- NASA waives the initial licensing fees, and there are no minimum fees for the first three years.
- Once the company starts selling a product, NASA will collect a standard net royalty fee. This money goes first to the inventor and then to maintaining the agency's technology transfer activities and technology advancement.
- This announcement applies to only non-exclusive licenses, which means other companies may apply for similar rights to use the technology for commercial purposes. However, NASA will consider further exclusivity if the startup wishes to negotiate.
- Companies entering into these licenses are bound by all requirements in federal licensing statutes and NASA policies, including development of a commercialization plan and reporting on efforts to achieve practical application.
- While NASA does license to foreign entities, this start-up agreement is only available to companies in the United States.
NASA offers a specially selected portfolio of technologies available for commercial nonexclusive licensing. These QuickLaunch licenses have a set initial fee, annual royalty and standard terms. With QuickLaunch licensing NASA has a goal of quickly turning your license application into a license agreement and transferring the technologies to you. For many technologies you may request an evaluation license for a short term prior to requesting a commercial license.
Use this checklist of information to help in the submission process. (PDF)
After your company has notified the Center License Administrator that practical application of the patented technology has been achieved, with your permission and review, a press release and a Success Story are written by the JSC Technology Transfer Office to announce your achievement.
Your company may also be eligible for numerous awards, such as the Space Technology Hall of Fame awards and recognition.
Need licensing assistance?
The JSC TTO is happy to help. Call or email us.
Phone: (281) 483-3809