Defense Laboratories Reach Technology-Sharing Agreement
A Boston-based investment company plans to announce agreements today with Defense Department laboratories that it says can speed the transfer of military technology for commercial uses.
Allied Minds Federal Innovations, a unit of closely held Allied Minds Inc., has formed public-private partnerships with Army, Navy and Air Force research centers to develop products from new technologies, according to a company statement.
The arrangement may create hundreds of jobs in 20 new subsidiaries in the first year of operations, Chris Silva, chief executive officer of Allied Minds, said in an interview. The company, which serves as a holding company for subsidiaries, is funded through investors that include Atlanta-based Invesco Ltd. (IVZ), according to Silva.
“It is a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership between a U.S. investment group and DOD labs,” Silva said, referring to the Department of Defense.
Allied Minds will invest $100 million in technology developed by the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, based at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division in Crane, Indiana; and the Aerospace Corp., which operates a federally funded research center in El Segundo, California, for the Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office.
While the Pentagon traditionally advertises new technologies to license them to private companies for commercial use, the partnerships will let Allied Minds continuously search for promising opportunities and “shorten the commercialization cycle,” Silva said.
A March 19 Pentagon notice from Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, revised rules in an effort to “promote research and development within the commercial sector of the U.S. economy, and the transfer of technology from the military to the commercial sector.”
Pam Keeton, a spokeswoman for Aerospace Corp., said Allied Minds “came to Aerospace with a proposal to make it easier to transfer technologies, and was selected after a review of several companies because of its experience with labs, universities and organizations similar to ours.”
The Army and Navy labs didn’t reply to e-mailed requests for comment yesterday.
Silva said the agreements have already led to creation of two subsidiaries that have been in business for a few weeks. The first is intended to provide technology to make the wireless spectrum more efficient as mobile devices consume more data. The second provides a new way to transmit data on the internet that is more secure, Silva said.
Allied Minds sees business opportunities through federal lab research in such fields as cybersecurity, wireless communications and power storage and energy, he said.
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