NASA surprised everyone when it announced its Startup program, where entrepreneurs can use the Agencies' patents for free.

According to a spokesperson from the Agency, the technological transparency is meant to accelerate business growth as well as give a positive impulse to American high-tech industries. Before investors across the globe open champagne bottles, it is worth saying that the initiative will probably be limited to the United States.

"The Startup NASA initiative addresses two common problems start-ups face: raising capital and securing intellectual property rights," the agency's press release reads.

Startup NASA will enable "startup companies to choose from a diverse portfolio of more than 1,200 patented NASA technologies." The program will be supervised by NASA's Technology Transfer Program.

The consistent inventions portfolio has 15 sections, which include Aeronautics, IT and Software, Power Generation and Storage, Electronics as well as Materials and Coatings. Robotics, Control and Automation also are on the list.

NASA aims at practicality, which means that the free licenses will go to those who want to sell the NASA-based technology.

"Entrepreneurs can take that research - and some risks - to create new products and new services," David Miller, chief technologist at NASA, declared.

There is one caveat, though. The space agency claims revenue of 4.2 percent from net sales, with a low cap of $3,000. Good news is that the payment process starts three years after the products of the startup enter manufacturing stage.

The NASA Startup policy applies only to non-exclusive licenses. This means that more than one company may make commercial use of a patent. NASA transmitted that some exclusive patenting could be possible and it is open to discussing the issue with interested parties.

The possibilities for single or mixed use of NASA technologies are enormous. Advances in science, communications, health or robotics are easily imaginable.

For example, the communications section contains a patent entitled "Portable Wireless Signal Booster." It describes a lightweight no-power-needed device that can boost local reception for cell phones and Wi-Fi Internet. Rescue missions or live streaming in the middle of nowhere, they're both plausible.

Laser-transferred data and low-density atmosphere aircraft, for example, are already documented in the Agencies patent files. They just need someone to brand, produce and distribute them. Hopefully to countries who are friendly to the United States.

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