Technology Docking Program Enables Local Companies to Strategize with NASA Experts for Product Development
Alluvionic, an innovative solutions provider focused on project management, process improvement and engineering product design, successfully fast-tracked a promising and productive strategic partnership thanks to their participation in the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast’s (EDC) Technology Docking program.
The Technology Docking Subject Matter Expert (SME) Assistance program, now in its third year, is a national pilot program for Regional Economic Development (RED) partners to provide small and medium-sized manufacturers and technology-based companies access to NASA’s subject matter experts, advanced technologies, and capabilities. These companies have the unique opportunity to draw upon NASA resources at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and across the nation to help solve technical product development challenges.
Alluvionic, was one of five companies selected in 2016 to participate in the SME Assistance program. Through the program Alluvionic interfaced with subject matter experts at both NASA’s Langley Research Center and KSC to assist with the structural analysis of its patent-pending vectored thrust technology, used for aviation and unmanned aerial systems. By being a part of this program, Alluvionic was also invited to attend the NASA Tech Expo and have a booth.
“We are thrilled to express our appreciation for the opportunity provided by the Technology Docking SME Assistance program. This provided us with the unique platform to collaborate with some of the most innovative minds in the country and obtain their feedback on our technology. Through this program, we leveraged cutting-edge simulation resources at NASA, substantially reducing the cost for our design analysis, as well as gain their credibility along with partners such as Sensenich. It provided invaluable contacts within NASA and has enabled us to get the crucial analysis to turn concept into practice with promising success,” says Ricardo Romeu, Alluvionic, Vice President of Engineering.
Since 2015 the local program has consulted with 85 companies and provided one-on-one subject matter expert assistance (SME) to 14 companies identified through the annual application process.
“The RED Program is how NASA can use its tremendous talent and capabilities to return a dividend to local communities. This program allows NASA to engage with area companies to help them overcome technological challenges and bring new or better products to market faster than otherwise possible; thereby leading to faster job creation and economic growth,” said Robert Ashley, RED project lead for KSC. Ashley said sometimes companies need the reassurance that they are headed in the right direction. Other times, they need additional consultations and technical assistance.
“The EDC and NASA partnership provides technology enabling resources and subject matter expertise to help local industry grow,” said Dr. Abram Walton, EDC Innovation Council Chair and Professor – College of Business at the Florida Institute of Technology. “These kinds of resources help build the foundation for an innovative ecosystem and a strong manufacturing sector.”