Technology Transfer

MIT Lincoln Laboratory has a long history of promoting technology transfer for application in the defense and the civil sectors. Many technologies developed initially to meet defense requirements have been re-adapted for commercial use. The modern-day computer and computer graphics revolution can be attributed to the invention of the magnetic-core memory and the Sketch Pad at the Laboratory.

One reason for the Laboratory’s success in transferring technology is its participation in collaborative programs with industry. For example, the Laboratory’s Microelectronics Laboratory, a world-class silicon integrated-circuit research facility capable of fabricating advanced prototype electronic devices, enables cooperative research programs with industry to develop advanced semiconductor manufacturing tools and processes. Such collaborations complement the Laboratory's work on developing and prototyping new device concepts.

Lincoln Laboratory’s expertise in optical communications and computer security applications has engendered technology transfer via a number of patents. The Laboratory’s well-known contributions to air traffic control and air safety have resulted in the adoption of Laboratory-developed technology into the national air traffic industry. For example, the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System, mandated for all large aircraft operating in the U.S., was developed and tested at the Laboratory.

Over 85 high-technology companies have evolved from the Laboratory's technology development. These companies’ services and products range from multimedia software services to advanced semiconductor lithography. The Laboratory has also produced over 700 patents, published 112 books, and each year generates over 500 journal articles, meeting speeches, and technical reports.

As the United States relies on high-technology firms for significant contributions to economic vitality, the Laboratory's technology development for the Department of Defense and other government agencies continues to open new frontiers for commercial applications.

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