Technology is an organization that uses their knowledge and processes to create tools and extract materials. It enables people to extend their abilities and solve problems. Technology is used in sectors such as transport, securing data, scaling businesses, learning, manufacturing, and communication. However, if not well applied, it can cause great harm to human lives. Technology creates competition through manufacturing of new products and services like smart phones and electronic devices. Types of technology
According to Ramey(2013), there are many types of technology which include;
Communication technology: A system technically transmits information or data from one location to another. Communication conveys ideas, exchanges information, and expresses emotions.
Construction technology: An advanced method involves equipments used to construct buildings and heavy engineering structures. Other examples include tools like heavy tractors used to prepare land at construction site, designing of 3D structures using computers and installing utilities.
Assistive technology: the technology assists disabled people to perform impossible tasks through moving. Example wheel chairs.
Medical technology: it extends and improves lives by reducing pain and injuries. It diagnoses infections, and treats diseases.
Information technology: It involves hardware and software tools used in storing information. It assists in making decisions, transfer of information, improving information, and enhancing accuracy.
Education technology: It assists students to understand better, evaluate situations, research information which motivates and encourages individual learning. Access to educational materials becomes easy and introduction of new subjects through gamification.
Technology R&D Lifecycle
Technology lifecycle (TLC) is a process that costs and profits of products from technological development phase to market maturity and its eventual decline. Costs involved during research and development stages should be less than the profits realized by the products offered in market (Branscomb, & Aueswald, 2002). Their life spans must be clearly understood to avoid loses in investments meant for research and development. Rapid increase in innovation places electronics and pharmaceuticals at risk of shorter lifecycles when matched against steel and paper. As a result, technology life cycle (TLC) is focused towards cost and time of development because it is closely associated to the target profits.
There are four distinct stages of TLC, research and development, ascent phase, maturity stage and decline stage.
Research and development stage involves risk taking as manufacturers invest in technological inventions. Companies engage in research and development in their projects to gain the best versions of technologies.
Ascent phase is a period between which products are invented until pocket costs are recovered. The goal is to reach rapid growth and distribution of invention and level competitive advantage of having products that are new in the market and most effective.
Maturity stage is a period when population, which attracts competitors in the market, accepts innovations. Because of high population, the supply is more than the demand, which leads to low returns. In addition, the introduced concepts get normal and common to the whole population.
Decline (or decay) phase is the last stage. It involves a drop in potentiality and utility value of sales. Eventually the decline leads to zero-sum game whereby margins are not realized.
In addition, differentiation is also considered as consumers adapt to the innovations of technology. Demographic groups in each differentiation phase are also distributed in each stage of TLC (Wayne state university, 2016).The groups include innovators, early developers, early majority, late majority, and laggards. The stages highlights ways those consumers appreciate new products and services in the market.
Innovators take risks and lead people interested in development of technology in certain industries. These people comprise a fraction of total population of consumers.
Early adopters are a relatively larger group of people who take risks and highly adapt to the new technology in the market. They are usually young and properly educated. They follow innovators to embrace new products introduced in the market.
Early majority is a relatively larger group than early adopters and innovators. They are positive towards new ideas introduced in the market but they take time to view the reception before investing in the project.
Late majority groups avoid taking risks through taking the new technology. These customers require people to convince them about the new product in the market.
Laggards avoid taking risks, and are usually old and less educated. They only appreciate technology after it has established well in the market.
Sources of funding
Most funding for technology development between invention and innovation is obtained from individual private equity investors, corporations, and federal government. The money is used to fund benchmark activities and innovations at the peak time of markets.
A small proportion of the money is used in development activities during early stages of technology. Other amount is spent on research and increase of available products and processes. Venture capitalists also support enterprises that depend on technology and ones that are beyond the stage of developing products (GTSI, 2008). In addition, investors in early-stages of technology enjoy a wide scope of funds from equity offerings, contract works, income from licensing patents, sales from spin off firms and cross cuttings that are old fashioned. There are also new advanced sources of funding for advancing businesses. They include angel networks and funding, angel investments supported by debts from banks, investments from corporate institutions and universities and seed investments.
Technology transfer involves the process of moving from federal research facilities to commercial market places. It involves six phases which are technology innovation, confirmation of technology, targeting technology consumers, marketing technology, application of technology and evaluation of technology which determines its success or failure.
National security agency (NSA) (2009) has a technology transfer program (TTP) that enhances transfer of technologies from lab to the market. In the first stage, TTP matches a single company with NSA technologies that are available to be involved in licensing (National security Agency, 2009). The program permits innovative NSA technology using patent License Agreement (PTA) that helps businesses gain differentiation and market advantage, which is most important in today’s competitive environment.
Licensing of NSA’s patented Wireless Intrusion Detection System (WIDS) acts as a successful transfer of technology because it creates new businesses and cyber security products. WIDS is a solution for cyber security wireless local area networks (WLANs). It monitors all channels of WiFi and prevents channel hopping that exposes networks to attacks. It detects and alerts owners of any attack and breaches.
In conclusion, the process involves discovering of a certain idea, investors imagining themselves growing their companies with NSA technologies, connecting with NSA TTP, engaging in a talk with NSA investors and pitching which is providence of a plan for NSA technology. Investors then negotiate licensing agreement and put NSA technology into work, which brings new products, jobs, and businesses (National security Agency, 2009).In addition, there are technology transfer mechanisms, which include cooperative research and development (CRADA). CRADA is a place where research, development, testing and evaluation (RD& E) activities are done. Federal parties offer services, facilities, personnel, intellectual property among other resources without reimbursement. These services may also be provided to assist in conducting research in conjunction with mission of DHS laboratory.
A licensing agreement is also given as a contract between the legal user of the intellectual property and the and the other party, which allows it to use the IP according to terms of contract (UCLA , 2016).
Third, a memorandum of understanding is also offered since it gives details of coordination and cooperation with other agencies. The program makes sure that the operations are normal and helps each party to understand their purpose.
Lastly, there is a partnership intermediary agreement (PIA) which is an agreement between DHS and a local government agency, which allows the partnership to identify other new technologies in private sector, which can be used by DHS. It also facilitates joint projects between private companies and department and help companies to identify technologies in the department that can be licensed (Homeland security, 2015).
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Branscomb,L. & Aueswald,P.(2002). An analysis of funding for early-stage technology development. Between invention and innovation. U.S. Department of Commerce,1-153.
GTSI.(2008). A model for enabling systematic budgeting and administration of government technology programs. Technology lifecycle management, 1-8.
Homeland security. (2015). Science and technology. Retrieved from http://www.dhs.gov/technology-transfer-program
Homeland security. (2015). Science and technology. Retrieved from http://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/technology-transfer-mechanisms
National security Agency. (2015). Technology transfer at NSA: moving innovations from the lab to the marketplace. Retrieved from https://www.nsa.gov/public_info/news_information/2015/Technology_Transfer_at_NSA. shtml
National security Agency.(2015). NSA Technology transfer program. Retrieved from https://www.nsa.gov/research/tech_transfer/
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UCLA . (2016). The technology transfer. UCLA office of intellectual property and industry sponsored research
Wayne state university.(2016). Technology transfer process. Division of research. Retrieved from http://www.techtransfer.wayne.edu/researchers_inventors/tech-transfer.php