Picatinny - Home of American Firepower

Material science, manufacturing processes, virtual reality and simulation, image processing, and non-destructive testing are just a few of the capabilities available to the private sector at Picatinny Arsenal.

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What is Technology Transfer?

Technology Transfer is the intentional communication or sharing of knowledge, expertise, facilities, equipment and other resources for application to military and non-military systems. It includes spin-off, spin-on and dual-use activities to make the best possible use of national scientific and technical capabilities to enhance the effectiveness of DoD Forces and systems and to support the Army's Domestic Technology Transfer mission IAW AR 70-57.

Technology Transfer
  • Supports a strong industrial base which DoD may utilize to support their needs and the economic security of the United States by transferring the benefits of federally funded R&D to commercial applications (spin-off).
  • Provides innovative partnering methods for DoD to acquire the latest technology from private sector sources who may not normally do business with the Federal government through standard procurement processes (spin-on).
  • Identifies technologies, capabilities, tools, techniques primarily developed for military purposes which are commercially viable enough to support adaptation and production for industrial or consumer uses.

Over the past several decades, Presidents and Congress have worked together to establish a policy framework that enables the Federal Government to more effectively engage in Technology Transfer with industry, state and local Governments, and academic institutions. ARDEC has a robust Technology Transfer Program, and uses a growing variety of Technology Transfer tools which includes Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), Cooperative Agreements (CAs), Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs), Sale of Testing Services, State and Local Government partnerships, use of Partnership Intermediaries, Patent

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The U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), headquartered at Picatinny, New Jersey, is a preeminent National and international leader in the research, development, engineering and production support for defense armament systems. The organization's primary mission is to execute and manage life cycle engineering processes required for the research, development, production, field support and demilitarization of ammunition, weapons, fire control and associated items.

ARDEC partners with a wide variety of organizations including industry, academia and other Government organizations to accelerate the development and transition of new technologies for the warfighter. ARDEC's research investment has also demonstrated commercial spin-off benefits for the nation's civilian economy. Material science, manufacturing processes, virtual reality and simulation, image processing, and non-destructive testing are just a few of the capabilities available to the private sector.

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The Business Interface Office (BIO) acts as an entry point for ARDEC's Academic and Industry Partners, as well as our Customers, and provides a consistent interface on current and future business, thereby ensuring ARDEC responds to Customer's actions, inquiries, or needs in a coordinated, timely and effective manner.

The BIO manages both international and domestic technology transfer processes, providing vehicles for ARDEC engineers to leverage technology and resources from others, as well as make ARDEC's unique expertise and capabilities available to others. The BIO is also responsible for ARDEC and Congressional investments in new business areas and proposal efforts in accord with ARDEC's Business Plan and Customer requirements; the promotion and expansion of the ARDEC images; the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program; Independent Research and Development (IR&D); and the ARDEC Technical Industrial Liaison Office (TILO) function which responds to Unsolicited Proposals.

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ARDEC's Technology Transfer Program


In 2007, the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) became the first federal organization in history selected to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The award is presented annually to a small group of elite businesses and organizations deemed to have world-class performance management excellence and quality achievement practices. ARDEC's success in its Technology Transfer program played an important role in demonstrating ARDEC as a leader in technology innovation.

Technology transfer is a strategic initiative and is embedded within the ARDEC culture. ARDEC's technology transfer program continues to increase in magnitude and importance to our mission as evidenced by number and number of CRADA partnerships, cash-in, leveraged in-kind research and development, Industry's use of ARDEC's unique laboratory facilities, and patent licensing. The program has a broad scope which helps to accelerate the development of innovative technology and armaments solutions.

ARDEC's Technology Transfer process is strategically driven. Strategic, Competency and Business Plans are developed after thorough analysis of the External Environmental Factors such as Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Future Operational Capabilities (FOCs) / Gaps, the Army Science and Technology (S&T) Plan, ARDEC S&T Plan, Program Executive Office (PEO) / Program and Product Manager (PM) Roadmaps, Competitive Intelligence, Industry/Business Trends. A gap analysis is performed where skills, equipment, facilities, resources, and technologies ARDEC already has are identified, as well as those needed to accomplish the Mission.

Within Enterprise and Systems Integration Center (ESIC) , the Business Interface Office brings increased emphasis to and focus on customer requirements, satisfaction and relationships, and manages both the international and domestic technology transfer processes. ARDEC's Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA) Representative and Technology Transfer Program reside within the Business Interface Office and provide the vehicles for leveraging national and international scientific and technology capabilities of industry, academia and other government agencies (OGA) and organizations that enhance ARDEC's mission.

Strategic Leveraging of Technology and Resources that Support ARDEC's Mission (Bridging Technology / Capability Gaps by Partnering).

ARDEC has had great success in integrating technology transfer into business procedures and processes to meet the challenges of a new and changing environment. Through Capability Gap analyses (tied to strategic planning and competency planning), and by taking a strategic view of industry partners in an attempt to substantially leverage people, facilities and equipment, ARDEC significantly expanded public-private partnerships and improved it's Technology Transfer process.

Strategic Partnering

ARDEC strategically seeks external innovation partners through its technology transfer program. Strategic business development areas include the following:

  • Nanotechnology & Advanced Materials - Identify, develop and transition Nanotechnologies for munitions and weapon platforms.
  • Armament Systems for Unmanned Vehicles (UVs) " RDECOM lead for Armament systems for UVs and robotic systems which represent next generation warfare.
  • IED/Asymmetric Threats (including IED detection/neutralization, APS, C-RAM, etc) - Soldier survivability initiatives including Detection and Neutralization of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), Active Protection Systems (APS), Counter-Rocket/Artillery /Mortar (C-RAM) systems (fixed/mobile units).
  • Current/Future Force Armaments/Munitions " Support to complex systems development and integration of primary/secondary armament, munitions, ammunition handling systems, fire control and logistics.
  • Battlespace Awareness (sensors/seekers, decision aids, etc) " Find and track the enemy (particularly in urban environments), decision aides and networked fires coordinated by mounted and dismounted units.
  • Homeland Defense Technologies - Leverage Army technology investments in sensors, less-than-lethal; logistics; robotics; etc., and transition technology to homeland defense applications.
  • Manufacturing Science - Provide the necessary tools to rapidly design and prototype weapon systems that can be evaluated in the field on limited release basis by combat units.
  • Directed Energy - DE applications (energy as a weapon), high density batteries, high capacity switching, pulsed power characteristic of electromagnetic propulsion.

By strategically focusing on developing the above new business areas and maintaining and growing core competencies critical to the Army and DOD, by leveraging existing resources, and by readily adapting to new challenges and threats, ARDEC remains the premier joint munitions center and service-based organization responsible for executing life cycle support of conventional weapons and ammunition systems development.

Technology Transfer Process Improvement

ARDEC is learning to apply Voice of the Customer processes of systems engineering and project management to its Technology Transfer process. Since 2007, ARDEC's Technology Transfer Office teamed with its Process Improvement and Management Group to initiate a Process Improvement Project and focus on refining the Technology Transfer Process using ARDEC-002 Process Standards Development Procedure, the ARDEC Process Guidelines, Lean Six Sigma tools, and lessons learned from the existing process. The refined ARDEC Technology Transfer Process is now aligned with other organizational standard processes, establishes specific entry/exit criteria, clarifies roles and responsibilities, and standardizes many Tech Transfer partnership tool templates, guidance, and samples. These “process assets” now provide ARDEC's internal and external customers with a comprehensive set of Technology Transfer information to allow for more efficient and effective development of Technology Transfer agreements

Independent Research & Development (R&D) Technology Interchange Meetings (TIMs)

ARDEC's IR&D TIM process encourages unique partnerships with industries/academia that have substantial interest in science and technologies that could bring maximum benefits to the ARDEC as well as to provide industry/academia the information and feedback they need to effectively implement their IR&D programs. This process brings about closer interaction between industry/academia IR&D programs and ARDEC mission interest technology programs. Industry IR&D projects provide an alternative source of technology to fill defense requirements, and focuses Industry's investment by allowing pursuit of technological advancement where customer needs are greatest and corporate capabilities are strongest, thereby improving competitiveness.

Partnering with FCS: Moving Forward from Buyer to Supplier " A Paradigm Shift

ARDEC strategically partnered in the advancement of technologies for future military projects in support of the Army's Transformation with our key Lead System Integrator (LSI) partners. These formal relationships allow ARDEC and our LSI partners to collaborate regularly on new and innovative technologies that will make future armament systems lighter, more precise, more lethal, and easier to deploy and support logistically.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)

ARDEC participates in the Army SBIR program. Once each year the Army requests small businesses submit proposals with innovative concepts to solve a list of defense-related scientific or engineering problems, especially those concepts that also have high potential for commercialization in the private sector. ARDEC uses its Technology Transfer toolkit to help facilitate the transition of Phase II programs to Phase III military and/or commercial applications. During 2007, ARDEC initiated a SBIR Commercialization Program in which ARDEC's Partnership Intermediary (InSitech) is helping ARDEC 2006 / 2007 SBIR Phase II awardees develop commercialization plans and seek investment capital to bridge the “valley of death” where corporate cash expires before commercialization is achieved. ARDEC's on-site business incubator, the Picatinny Technology Innovation Center, has become home to several SBIR companies, demonstrating how Technology Transfer tools and state/local government partnering can be synergistic with the SBIR Program.

Partnership Intermediaries

The Arsenal Business and Technology Partnership and Center for Economic Growth http://www.arsenalpartnership.com at Benet Labs, Watervliet Arsenal, NY, also a 501c3, is a new business incubator focused on National defense and homeland security technologies. The Watervliet Innovation Center (“WIC”) features flexible high-tech space designed to accelerate the growth of firms developing new technologies for homeland defense and security applications. The 25,000 square foot facility includes offices, start-up laboratories, light manufacturing space, and common business resource areas. Significant research has already been done to identify what kinds of technologies and products are needed by end-users in the homeland security field.

InSitech. Through an innovative Partnership Intermediary approach, ARDEC has embarked upon an initiative to lease Government land and building space to private businesses interested in pursuing joint science exploration with ARDEC. By combining the leveraging of intellectual property assets with laboratory real estate assets, ARDEC hopes to achieve these benefits:

  • • Enhance ARDEC mission performance by increased on-site day-to-day collaboration of R&D with academic and private sector scientists related to our core mission areas and an increased ability to leverage Government R&D funding. This will result in an acceleration of new technology to the warfighter.
  • • Reduce Base laboratory infrastructure burden to the Government Additionally, the Army entered into an Enhanced Use Lease agreement with InSitech to transform the front portion of Picatinny Arsenal into a R&D campus with industry and academia tenants of relevance to Picatinny's mission. InSitech is also ARDEC's partner intermediary to increase dual use collaboration with industry and academia, and to attract private venture capital to accelerate dual use technology development of interest to ARDEC. Technology transfer tools will help enable the PARC tenants to access ARDEC technical expertise, technology and facilities, and for ARDEC to in turn leverage technology innovation and resources from the PARC tenants. c. DOD Partnership Intermediaries

Tech Link. TechLink helps the Department of Defense and NASA to commercialize leading-edge new technology by partnering these agencies with private sector companies for technology licensing, transfer, and research and development. These technology transfer partnerships solve industry problems, create business opportunities, and stimulate economic development while helping DoD and NASA to achieve their missions. ARDEC is using Tech Link resources to assess the commercial market potential of ARDEC's less-than-lethal, small arms and manufacturing technologies. Tech Link was instrumental in assisting ARDEC licensing of the Picatinny Backup Iron Sight. http://www.techlinkcenter.org/cgibin/techlink/index.html

DoD TechMatch. TechMatch is designed to provide valuable information to work more effectively with the DoD community. Technology Needs, R&D Opportunities, Events, Laboratory Information, and Success Stories are easily accessible. ARDEC's patent portfolio is in the TechMatch information portal. http://www.navytechmatch.com/DOD/index.aspx

FirstLink http://ieefirstlink.com/html/home.asp. FirstLink helps the Department of Defense connect with private sector companies and entrepreneurs to commercialize technologies for our nation's First Responders. ARDEC's Business Area Manager for HLD technology has been introduced to First Link.

Springboard www.gospringboard.org. ARDEC made initial contact with Springboard during 2007 and is exploring opportunities for achieving lower cost titanium for DoD.

Innovative Consortia

ARDEC is the hub of world-class Centers of Excellence in Ordnance and Small Arms technologies, where industry, academia and Government laboratories collaborate in an open environment to meet National defense needs. Using the Other Transaction Agreement, championed by DOD's Technology Transition Office, ARDEC is home to two different consortia:

  • Defense Ordnance Laboratory Consortium (formerly Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium) which grew out of the Warhead and Energetics Technology Center (WETC). The WETC technology center, chartered on May 15, 2000, was formed as a partnership between ARDEC and the Army Research Laboratory, located in Aberdeen, MD, and was the first step in developing a Center of Excellence within DoD for energetics and warhead technologies whereby industry, academia and the Government could freely participate to meet National defense needs for conventional lethality. The expanded scope of the DOTC and continued support of DoD, industry and academia, makes it easier to address the research and development ordnance needs of all the services, maintain tight alignment with the Army's Transformation initiatives and focus on our nation's 21st century lethality needs.
  • National Small Arms Consortium. The consortium, consisting of interested Academia, Industry and Government organizations, focuses on ongoing competitiveness and superiority of U.S. Small Arms technology and maintains the needed capabilities of the U.S. Small Arms Industrial Base to ensure continued U.S. defense superiority.
Picatinny Technology Innovation Center (PIC)

The Picatinny Innovation Center's goal is to accelerate the successful transition between ARDEC and entrepreneurial technology companies and corporate development teams by supplying a supportive and resourceful infrastructure, financing assistance, shared business services to reduce overhead costs, access to the considerable resources and technology of the United States Government, and reasonably priced space at Picatinny, New Jersey. Through a CRADA between ARDEC and a local college, the PIC http://www.picinnovation.org is home to many of ARDEC's CRADA partners.


Intellectual Property

  • Royalties. ARDEC has an extensive patent portfolio and recognizes the importance of protecting the Intellectual Property rights of its partners. ARDEC has 13 active patent license agreements which provide royalties to both ARDEC and its inventors. Royalty income has provided valuable seed funding for new R&D initiatives.
  • Patent Award Ceremonies. A series of new patent award ceremonies was initiated whereby ARDEC inventors are presented with an ARDEC patent certificate incorporating the title page of their respective patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This award ceremony recognizes the individual intellectual contribution of each inventor as well as being an important tangible measure of ARDEC's collective genius in contributing to the advance of the many technologies being developed by this organization. Additionally, each organization's awards POC is notified when patent applications are filed and when they issue into patents. b. CRADA Review Process. In addressing another aspect of the ARDEC Strategic Initiative to increase the number of alliances with tangible results, we are conducting CRADA Reviews to inform senior management of ARDEC's technology transfer activities for new CRADAs, completed CRADAs, and those with special issues on a quarterly basis. This forum also serves to increase technology transition by providing senior level mentoring assistance and horizontal technology integration.
Success Stories

Technology Transfer is one of ARDEC's important business processes, and is widely embraced by our Competency Directors as an integral way of how we innovate. These samples (see Success Stories), representing less than 10 percent of ARDEC's currently active technology transfer partnerships, show some examples of how ARDEC is using technology transfer tools, such as CRADAs and patent licensing, to transition technology to military industry and the commercial sector, as well as spin-on advanced technology from private sector innovators.

Education and Training

Technology Transfer is being emphasized as a critical factor through the following:

  • T2 Education and Training: As one of ARDEC's strategic initiatives, we are providing the ARDEC workforce training on the Importance of Intellectual Property Protection and our Technology Transfer Program.
  • Incentives and Awards, i.e., cash and recognition: ARDEC holds an annual award ceremony to recognize its inventors, and participates in the Army Materiel Command's annual greatest inventions competition where ARDEC inventions have comprised 25% of the AMC greatest inventions since the program's inception.

ARDEC's unique laboratory testing facilities are available to private industry under 15 USC 2539b authority for selling testing services. (See Facilities)

Examples include ARDEC's Precision Munitions Laboratory, Davidson Warhead Center, Armaments Technology Facility, Software Engineering Laboratory, Energetics Laboratories, Weapons Experimentation Facilities, and many others--over 80 facilities in all

In Summary

ARDEC's Technology Transfer program supports ARDEC's strategic objective to be the Leader in Armaments Technology Innovation. ARDEC will build and achieve this end state through mutually beneficial partnerships and alliances, with a focus on innovation and disruptive technology. Technology transfer tools and activities will be increasingly important to reach innovation partners outside of the traditional military sector of industry, academia and other government organizations, where traditional acquisition contract methods are not as effective. ARDEC's longer term technology transfer objectives include:

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Federal Resources and Expertise

The U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) is located 40 miles west of New York City, at Picatinny Arsenal in Morris County, New Jersey. Picatinny Arsenal offers a wealth of valuable resources to the private sector. The Picatinny workforce consists of approximately 3,000 civilians and military personnel. About half of the workforce is either scientists or engineers.

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Areas of Expertise

Picatinny stands ready with many new and emerging technologies to contribute towards the "Readiness" of the Army's Transformation. Our main goal has always been to move an idea from development to production to lethality as quickly and efficiently as possible for our ultimate customer - the soldier in the field. ARDEC is a leader in armaments technology, and has a unique collection of specialty technologies as well as a strong manufacturing/quality assurance base. See our Technology Portfolio and Facilities pages for details.

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Technology Transfer Mechanisms

Companies can benefit from ARDEC technologies through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), Patent Licensing Agreements, Test Service Agreements and other partnering mechanisms.

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Picatinny, Home of American Firepower