So ... What Is NASA TechPort and Why Can't We See it?

New NASA TechPort Online Tool Available to Agency Employees

"NASA's Technology Portfolio System (TechPort) is a new agency internal website now available to NASA civil servant and contractor employees who log in from a domain. TechPort is an integrated, agency-wide software system designed to capture, track, and manage NASA's portfolio of technology investments. TechPort provides detailed information on individual technology programs and projects throughout NASA. ... The Office of the Chief Technologist will seek employee feedback on the website, and plans to make TechPort publicly available in the future. Users will be able to browse, search, track, analyze and report on the portfolio of technology investments being pursued at program and project levels, with the resulting benefits being the easy access to information about programs and project results."

Keith's note: Given the self-professed interest on the part of NASA to show taxpayers that there are many non-space ways that NASA-developed technology provides added uses (often and inaccurately referred to as "spinoffs") one would think that there'd be great interest in getting this sort of tool in the hands of consumers, taxpayers, developers, students etc. ASAP. As with the case of many online tools, crowd sourcing is often a great way to take a tool and make it better - by allowing the end-users to participate in the improvement process. I asked NASA when TechPort would be available to the public. They responded: "for the first year we plan on keeping TechPort internal. This is to both help familiarize the resource with employees and to encourage their use of it as a collaborative tool for tracking and managing projects and programs. After our "shake down flight" of TechPort, we hope to make it public -- in about a year."

This seems like a rather long time to me. I guess it also makes me wonder if TechPort is intended as an internal tool that will eventually be made public (with full or partial functionality) or a public tool that will be played with internally for a year before public release. Let's find out. Given NASA's chronic inability to link its various technology activities (see links below) this sounds like a hopeful departure. But as long as it is hidden behind the firewall, most people will never know. The site is online (via only) at Screen grabs, FAQs, downloads of TechPort from internal NASA users would be most appreciated. Send them to

Keith's update: A NASAWatch reader sent this screen grab of TechPort. Larger view.

Also, you would think that NASA's technology efforts would combine all of its established branded technology activities - including NASA Tech Briefs (with its existing subscriber base) - except ... NASA and NASA Tech Briefs make virtually zero mention of each other - and do not seem to be at all bothered by this mutual ignoring of one another.

I decided to snoop around to see what I could find. According to the search function, this link used to point to "NASA - Technology Portfolio Tracking An Agency-wide process and system for tracking all of the significant technology investments, activities, and products by NASA." but now it simply points to the OCT home page.

This "DRAFT not for official use" Strategic Space Technology Investment Plan (online at with a creation date of 17 July 2012) says:

"One of the NRCs recommendations on the Space Technology Roadmaps emphasized the importance of the capture, management, and sharing of space technology advancements with other Government agencies, academic institutions, commercial enterprises, and the resulting societal benefits with the general public. In response to this recommendation, the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist is undertaking an effort to develop an agency-wide, web-based software system, NASA TechPort, to support the objective of integrating and disseminating key information about NASA investments in space technology. TechPort will offer opportunities for increased collaboration in the realm of space technology, and will enhance the visibility of NASAs Space Technology Portfolio both internally to NASA and externally to the public.

TechPort will support the capturing and tracking of innovative challenges, new technologies, and ongoing projects. TechPort capabilities will support technology infusion into NASA missions and the communication of technologies into the commercial marketplace. When the public access version of TechPort is released, it will make accessible any publicly available technology reports, patents, licenses, and software usage that emerge from NASA technology development projects.

By providing open, easy-to-use access to NASA space technology information, TechPort will facilitate technology transfer, technology partnerships, and technology commercialization activities across NASA and will extend to other Government agencies, industry, and international entities. The general public will be able to use TechPort to find technologies of interest and learn of the societal impacts of NASAs technology investments. OCT will continue to communicate the many benefits of the Agencys technology to the public through other means as well."

A reference "National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (2012). How TechPort Supports the NRC Report Recommendations." is also cited.

- NASA Improves Its Tech Transfer Portal, earlier post
- Why Does NASA Ignore NASA Tech Briefs?, earlier post
- Uncoordinated Technology Transfer at NASA (Update), earlier post

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on October 10, 2012 9:14 PM.

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