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26 July 1999
For Immediate Release

Wayne Swann to Head New Technology Transfer Office at APL

Wayne Swann has joined The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL), Laurel, Md., to establish the Laboratory's first Office of Technology Transfer.

Although the Laboratory has been licensing technology developed from its research efforts to industry for several decades, technology transfer has not been a major focus of the laboratory. The laboratory's mission is not changing; it is being enhanced. Swann says, "The same technologies developed at the Laboratory to help the government protect the lives of its citizens can also be used to improve the quality of those same lives. In this way, technology transfer enhances the Laboratory's mission as a public service organization. The leveraging of government-funded research has a multi-dimensional impact on the nation and spurs local and national economic development, keeping the U.S. competitive in the global economy."

Swann says that, "In addition to a typical technology-push approach: marketing new laboratory technologies and innovations to business and industry, the office will also establish a market-pull approach: identifying the needs of the commercial sector that match the unique capabilities and multi-faceted strengths of the Laboratory." In this latter area Swann hopes to help the Laboratory work more closely with business and industry in the area of technology development and secure R&D funding.

"We'll be establishing a short-, medium-, and long-term technology licensing strategy for bringing in new and different types of income from various sources, today, and for many years to come and will include new business spin-offs," Swann says. "However, the focus of the office is on licensing technology to industry so that the public may benefit. After all, that's what it's all about, getting new innovations transferred to industry to make new and better products and improve the quality of life." In addition, Swann, who holds 10 issued U.S. Patents, believes it is imperative to establish a program that recognizes and rewards staff for their technical creativity and resulting innovations.

Potential local, national, and international partnerships will be explored to find the right outlet for the commercialization of present and future APL-developed technologies, according to Swann. "Working with companies in our own backyard is especially appealing," he says. "It's a great feeling when you can benefit the public, enhance economic development in the State, and at the same time generate income to benefit the university and reward innovation."

An important element in the mix of a new technology transfer office is patience, Swann says. "There's a lot to be done, and it takes time to establish an effective and efficient operation." His immediate priorities are putting together a staff, reviewing descriptions of what he calls "a mountain of technology licensing opportunities," and meeting with local companies to let them know APL is looking for industry partners. As Director of Technology Transfer, Swann will report to the Laboratory Director.

Swann comes from the University of Maryland, where he created their Office of Technology Liaison and oversaw its operation for the last 13 years. He previously worked at Genex Corporation as a research scientist and technology marketing manager and at W.R. Grace & Company as a research associate. He holds a B.S. in natural science. Swann lives with his family in Clarksville, Md.

The Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) is a not-for-profit laboratory and independent division of The Johns Hopkins University. APL conducts research and development primarily for national security and for nondefense projects of national and global significance. APL is located midway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., in Laurel, Md.

For more information, contact:

JHU Applied Physics Laboratory
Helen Worth
Laurel, MD 20723
Phone: 240-228-5113