On Halloween in 1997, four Air Force laboratories from around the United States joined the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to form a consolidated research organization in Dayton, Ohio. Aptly titled Air Force Research Laboratory, this new unit of ideas and discovery instantly made Wright Patterson Air Force Base the hub for technological collaborations between the military and the civilian sector.
Nearly 25 years later, that spirit of collaboration lives on through Mr. Joshua Laravie, the Technology Transfer Specialist and Domestic Alliance Program Manager for AFRL’s Aerospace Systems Directorate. Laravie knows what it takes for ideas to materialize in the fast-paced Air Force environment and has taken the lead role in its development. “I believe my role is vital to the success of the Air Force,” he says. “Protecting intellectual property is one reason, but I also facilitate many partnerships allowing for increased avenues of collaboration and expanding opportunity for novel technology application.”
These partnerships stem from agreements made through the Office of Research and Technology Applications. ORTAs are responsible for developing collaborative interactions with industry, academia, and other government entities through an Air Force program called Technology Transfer and Transition (T3). There are 39 ORTAs in the United States, located at 18 Air Force bases, the Pentagon, and the United States Air Force Academy.
At Wright Patterson, Laravie has served in the ORTA program since July 2019. He was selected for the lead position because of his ability to help potential partners navigate the nuances associated with an Air Force partnership. “There is a common belief that government only adds time and obstacles through bureaucracy,” Laravie states. “I make it my personal mission to minimize this and streamline collaboration.”
His streamlining abilities enabled his ORTA to negotiate and execute 131 new partnership agreements during 2020. The Aerospace Systems Directorate also maintains an incentive program, awarding $300 to government inventors for their new-invention disclosure, with the possibility of an additional $5,000 to commercialize and license the intellectual property.
For rising technologists, getting excited for a “win-win” situation such as this is something Laravie, a rabid University of Kentucky Wildcats fan, knows all about. “(It’s) only fun when we’re winning,” he jokingly adds. And he has the winning plan for those interested in creating a partnership through his ORTA and directorate.
The Aerospace Systems Directorate provides test and research in the areas of aviation technology, non-propulsive power production and energy conversion, engines, propulsion, novel fuels, scramjet engines, unmanned vehicles, hypersonic vehicles, collision avoidance, and aircraft energy optimization.
To learn more about the Air Force Research Laboratory Aerospace Systems Directorate, please visit https://afresearchlab.com/technology/aerospace, or e-mail Mr. Joshua Laravie at firstname.lastname@example.org.