Press Release

NASA Engages the Public to Discover New Uses for Out-of-this-World Technologies

By SpaceRef Editor
October 24, 2013
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NASA Engages the Public to Discover New Uses for Out-of-this-World Technologies

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety and efficiency, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, even the miniature cameras in our cell phones. For over fifty years, NASA has transferred its cutting-edge aerospace technologies to the private sector, helping create new commercial products, improve existing products, and boost the competitiveness of the U.S. economy. 

Now NASA has joined forces with the product development startup Marblar ( for a pilot program allowing the public to crowdsource product ideas for forty of NASA’s patents. This initiative will allow Marblar’s online community to use a portion of NASA’s diverse portfolio of patented technologies as the basis of new product ideas.

Starting today, 14 NASA technologies will be available on Marblar. Over the next four weeks, 26 additional patents will be posted on the website. Anyone can submit ideas and contribute to other submitted ideas over the next year. Commercial partners will study the ideas for potential new products and services, with contributors to successful ideas sharing in their ownership.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center Technology Transfer Office will lead the pilot program. “We are excited about partnering with Marblar to reach new audiences. By using crowdsourcing as a way to generate new assessments of NASA technologies, we hope to work with the global community to identify transformative commercial products,” said Terry Taylor, Manager of the MSFC Technology Transfer Office.

“Crowdsourcing has allowed NASA to tap into more than the usual suspects to get ideas and solutions that address an assortment of NASA needs,” said Jenn Gustetic, NASA’s Prizes and Challenges Program Executive. “Reaching out to innovators in a variety of fields through online crowdsourcing may provide a 21st century way for NASA to expand the reach of its technology portfolio for commercialization and use right here on Earth”

Marblar is a platform that curates patented science from the world’s top research labs, and allows anyone to submit new product ideas based upon these technologies. The technologies NASA will be making available to the platform range from advanced satellite optics, to micro-sensors, to materials, devices, and manufacturing techniques developed for the shuttle program. These technologies represent a handful of the over 1000 patented technologies and 400 software codes and analysis tools NASA has available for transfer to the public.

“By engaging a global community towards re-imagining NASA’s patents, along with the half-billion dollars worth of patents from other institutions world-wide available on Marblar, we’re aiming to create a pivot point and redefine product development for the 21st century,” said Daniel Perez, Marblar CEO.

NASA’s Technology Transfer Program, managed by the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA Headquarters, ensures that technologies developed for missions in exploration and discovery are broadly available to the public. To view the entire NASA patent portfolio, visit:

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SpaceRef staff editor.