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NASA looks to build partnerships in area

The NASA Glenn Research Center is targeting southwest Ohio as a key area for potential strategic partnerships, an agency director said Tuesday.

The Cleveland-based science and technology center is working with the Dayton Development Coalition to strengthen its relationships with the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Air Force Institute of Technology, both headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, said Robert J. “Joe” Shaw, deputy director of NASA Glenn’s Office of Technology Partnerships and Planning.

“This area is very important to us,” Shaw said. “We think we have something to offer to this area and we are anxious to work collaboratively with appropriate organizations in this area to get Glenn capabilities and technologies to have economic impact here.”

Shaw was a keynote speaker at the sixth annual Ohio Innovation Sensor Summit, a three-day conference on sensor technology that continues through Thursday at the University of Dayton Research Institute and IDCAST at Tech Town in Dayton.

The John H. Glenn Research Center is one of 10 National Aeronautics and Space Administration centers in the U.S. The center researches, designs, develops and tests innovative technology for aeronautics and spaceflight. NASA Glenn employs more than 3,200 civil servants and contractors, and has an annual $1.3 billion economic impact in Ohio, according to a Cleveland State University report.

Shaw said the center is focusing on outreach and building strategic partnerships that create opportunities to develop technologies “that go beyond the NASA business portfolio.”

The Sensor Summit features lectures and demonstrations, and is intended to foster collaboration among businesses, universities and federal research institutions.

“This event is about the companies in the region. It’s about how we’ve leveraged the (Ohio) Third Frontier investments in sensor technology here to help companies improve their technologies and create jobs and economic value in the area,” said Larrell Walters, director of IDCAST and UDRI’s sensor systems division.

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