Innovation from NASA to your doorstep

The In Focus mini-series examines more closely issues and topics of importance to federal agencies and contractors. Each month, Federal News Radio speaks with key stakeholders to better understand challenges and opportunities. This month focuses on Science and Technology in Government.

With so much attention given to the success of SpaceX, Elon Musk’s spacecraft design and manufacturing company, some might conclude he is a genius. While Musk may be exceptional, his accomplishments aren’t locked up in an ivory tower.

“What people don’t know is SpaceX is dependent on a lot of innovation provided by NASA,” said SpaceCom Executive Director James Causey.

NASA Technology Transfer Program Executive Dan Lockney joined Federal News Radio’s In Focus and described the methods NASA uses to share the information they have collected. The most obvious is the technology used in smartphones to take photographs. However, the information provided by NASA includes patents, software and public domain information. The agency also produces Spinoff, a publication that shows how NASA technology programs benefit the world. In fact, Spinoff has profiled over 2,000 examples since 1976.

The next time someone says we are sending dollar bills up in NASA rockets, have them read a few of the case studies from Spinoff.


JOHN  pix  FotoFlexer_PhotoJohn Gilroy, Host of Federal Tech Talk, Federal News Radio

John Gilroy has been a member of the Washington D.C. technology community for over twenty years. In 2007 he began weekly interviews on Federal News Radio called “Federal Tech Talk with John Gilroy.”   His 428 interviews provides the basis for profitable referral business. In 2009 he created a successful breakfast club of previous radio guests called The Technology Leadership Roundtable. He has been instrumental in two of his guests forming their own radio shows:  Derrick Dortch with “Fed Access” and Aileen Black and Gigi Schumm with “Women in Washington.”

In 2011 he began teaching a course in social media marketing at Georgetown University; in March of 2014, John won the Tropaia Award for Outstanding Faculty.  John conducts monthly corporate training for large companies on how to leverage social media to generate revenue.



Dan Lockney NASA unnamedDan Lockney, NASA Technology Transfer Program Executive 

Daniel Lockney is the Technology Transfer Program Executive at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC, responsible for Agency-level management of NASA intellectual property and the transfer of NASA technology to promote the commercialization and public availability of Federally-owned inventions to benefit the national economy and the U.S. Public.

NASA has had a long history of finding new, innovative uses for its space and aeronautics technologies, and Lockney is the agency’s leading authority on these technologies and their practical, terrestrial applications.