Technology Transfer Center (NTTC), Emergency Response Technology Program
The National Technology Transfer Center (NTTC) is a research facility on the campus of Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia. It was established by Congress in 1989, with a mandate to increase the effectiveness of U.S. industry by providing access to some $70 billion in federally funded research. Among the facilities of this full-service technology management and commercialization center is the Emergency Response Technology (ERT) Program. The latter attempts to match the technology needs of emergency medical, firefighting, hazardous materials, public safety, and special operations personnel with off-the-shelf technologies.
The ERT Program is led by its advisory council, the Emergency Response Technology Group (ERTG). It is the responsibility of the ERTG to identify technology needs and match them to a range of existing technologies. Those existing technologies are evaluated with regard to their applicability to specific areas of need, and assuming it meets the test, the technology is brought before the ERTG as a group to validate it. Upon validating, the ERTG undertakes assistance of the developer by overseeing operational tests and evaluations at participating facilities throughout the United States. Once successfully brought to market, what was once a prototype becomes an operational commercial product.
Among the products the ERTG sought to develop in 2003 was a building and facility emergency response information/survey tool, which would store data, including location of power panels and wiring, to enhance the ability of rescue personnel to penetrate all areas of a building; a personnel locator/monitor that would provide three-dimensional tracking of emergency personnel at an emergency site; an approaching traffic warning device; and a hazard assessment robot that could be passively activated by remote sensors. In the 18 months prior to September 2002, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the NTTC as a whole had brokered some 30 deals in which business firms licensed technology developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. An example of a product it had recently helped market was the Road Spike, a portable device capable of deflating tires of motorists attempting to run roadblocks.
█ FURTHER READING:
Brainard, Jeffrey. "Profiles in Pork: Wheeling Jesuit University: National Technology Transfer Center." The Chronicle of Higher Education 49, no. 5 (September 27, 2002): A23.
Ritchie-Matsumoto, Peggy. "Taking Your Technology to the Marketplace." Corrections Today 62, no. 4 (July 2000): 96–100.
National Technology Transfer Center. < http://www.nttc.edu > (March 18, 2003).