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For Release: Jan. 17, 1995
RELEASE NO: 95-4
MISSISSIPPI, NASA SEEK TO BROADEN TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
In a ceremony today in the Mississippi State Capitol Rose Room, Mississippi Gov. Kirk Fordice signed a new memorandum of understanding with NASA which broadens the scope of assistance provided by the space agency to businesses, academic institutions and individuals in the state. Signing for NASA were Porter Bridwell, director of the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and Roy Estess, director of the Stennis Space Center, Miss.
Specifically, the document calls for the establishment of a working relationship with the Mississippi Enterprise for Technology, a public/private partnership to foster technology-based companies in Mississippi. The agreement expands the transfer of NASA education-oriented assistance and helps eliminate the problem of under-used facilities. The present direct transfer of technology to state firms and academic institutions via chambers of commerce, seminars, expositions, and visits by NASA engineers to businesses and schools will continue as before.
"The State of Mississippi has had a historic, productive association with NASA both at Stennis and in Tishomingo County," Gov. Fordice said. "This agreement extends that relationship into other areas of mutual interest that will benefit both Mississippians and NASA."
"Stennis Space Centers cooperation with the State in promoting technology transfer reached a new level of maturity this year with the establishment of the Mississippi Enterprise for Technology which is already working in Mississippi," said Estess. "Stennis Space Center is proud to renew our pledge to continue working closely with the State by sharing resources that will stimulate economic competitiveness and educational excellence."
Following the ceremony, Bridwell said he was pleased to represent NASA in expanding the scope of the cooperative agreement which has benefited Mississippi over the past six years.
The original memorandum of understanding was signed in 1989.
"NASA is much more than space shuttles and satellites," Bridwell said. "Each of its field centers conducts research activities which can be transferred to American businesses, education centers and individuals to ensure our nation remains on the cutting edge of technology in the global marketplace.
"Our purpose today is to enhance the already highly successful working relationship we have developed with Mississippi economic development activities. We seek to continue to develop innovative processes which will enhance Mississippis competitiveness at home and in the global economy. We also seek to create new jobs at existing industries, create new businesses and attract new industries to the state."
A recent survey showed a 60-to-one return on funds invested in technology transfer by the Marshall Center. The technology transfer effort has saved or created more than 5,300 positions across the nation between January 1993 and July 1994.
To date, the Marshall Center has established technology transfer and assistance agreements with Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, and West Virginia in addition to Mississippi.
Bridwell concluded his remarks by praising Gov. Fordices efforts in support of technology transfer within the state and said NASA welcomed the expanded and enhanced technology transfer agreement signed today.