Spotlight on Partnerships: SpringBoard – A Department of Defense Partnership Intermediary

One of the great things about the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) office attending workshops and conferences is the opportunity to meet new organizations and individuals. At the recent MTS/IEEE Oceans ’11 conference, the NOPP office had the opportunity to meet a staff member from the Springboard organization, which is tasked with transferring and commercializing technologies developed in Department of Defense laboratories, but is set up within a non-profit economic development organization in order to act as true intermediaries.  As with NOPP, partnerships and collaboration are key to their success!

What is SpringBoard?

For the past five years, SpringBoard has been helping entrepreneurs from diverse industries discover the wealth of technology and expertise that Federal Laboratories can provide to their business or research.

Springboard is a program funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) with the objective of facilitating partnerships between companies or universities and DoD Federal Laboratories. This objective is carried out primarily through instruments such as a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADAs), Patent Licensing, or Educational Partnerships Agreements (EPAs). Further, SpringBoard helps companies collaborate with federal labs, find a technology partner for research and development projects, or commercialize new technologies.  And because the program is fully funded by the Department of Defense, the service is provided free of charge.

Springboard is part of the Juneau Economic Development Council in Alaska’s Capital city. Located in Alaska, SpringBoard leverages technical opportunities in the state and works extensively nationwide. It is one of four similar organizations across the United States, called Partnership Intermediaries, all partnering closely with the DoD and other Federal Labs.

What can Springboard do for you?

Companies should consider the benefits that a federal partner, like the DoD or USDA, can bring. Springboard makes it easy by helping with introductions and assisting in navigating the necessary communications and paperwork involved with these kinds of partnerships.

If you are looking to expand your product line, the DoD Federal Laboratories hold thousands of patents on diverse subjects, which are available for license.

If you need help with a difficult research topic, it is likely that researchers at DoD laboratories are performing similar research, given the diverse range of science involved.  You may want to consider a CRADA, which allows the researcher to leverage resources available to the DoD labs, while protecting the researchers’ intellectual property.

If your product requires testing, SpringBoard can help grant access to a wide array of researchers and test equipment, which allows for low-cost testing of products in order to quantify performance and identify issues.

Please don’t hesitate to contact SpringBoard staff Zach Wilkinson, at (907) 523 2329,, or Paul Moran, at (907) 523 2340,, to find out how to take advantage of these exciting partnership opportunities.