Transition to Practice

Transition to Practice

Transition to Practice (TTP) project image Bridging the gap between research and the marketplace requires a transition process specifically designed to accelerate technology maturity and create partnerships with the private sector and the venture community. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) created the Transition to Practice (TTP) program to address this need. Through TTP, DHS S&T is leading the successful transition of federally funded cybersecurity technologies into broader use through commercialization and adoption by end-users. The TTP program has three main goals.

  • Identify promising technologies that address an existing or imminent cybersecurity need that impacts national security.
  • Increase utilization through partnerships, product development efforts and commercialization.
  • Improve the long-term ability of federal government research organizations to transition technology more efficiently.

Watch the S&T Cybersecurity Transition to Practice Video

Motivation

Technology transition remains a difficult endeavor with many challenges. Only a small fraction of the research performed in federal laboratories reaches the marketplace where it can have an impact. This problem, known as “the Valley of Death,” is often a result of lack of partnerships between the government and the private sector, nonexistent funding and other resources to mature the technology, and inefficient processes for transitioning technology out of the laboratory environment. Successfully transitioning cybersecurity technology from research to operational use is identified as a critical area in the 2016 Federal Cybersecurity R&D Strategic Plan.

Approach

The TTP program conducts technology foraging to find the most promising cybersecurity projects across the federal government that demonstrate potential for commercialization. Selected technologies go through a structured process designed to accelerate the path from lab to market that includes training, market validation, testing and evaluation, pilot deployment, and outreach. TTP technologies are introduced to potential partners, investors and integrators and showcased at a national series of technology demonstration days. TTP supports multiple paths to transition, including licensing, startup creation, open source and government use.

The TTP infographic is titled “TTP ACCELERATES THE PATH FROM LAB TO MARKETPLACE".  The multistep process starts in the top left hand corner with a flag icon and text “We begin by identifying an important cyber NEED”. The next step to the right “We consider multiple sources of innovative R&D including TECH FORAGING at federal labs, universities, and FFRDCs”. In a call out box above the text, shows “18 labs partnered with” for tech foraging. Moving to the top right hand corner “We narrow it down and make the SELECTION based on uniqueness of approach and marketplace potential”. Moving down “For each technology we determine the most likely successful PATH TO MARKET” with an icon of a maze and an arrow winding through the entry through the pathway to the exit. Moving down on the right side in the middle is “We provide Labs and researchers TRAINING and resources on the commercialization process, IP, and licensing” with an icon of three people looking into an open book in front of them. Moving left, the next step is twofold –“We identify end-users and look at the competitive landscape during MARKET VALIDATION” with an icon of a checkmark superimposed on a financial bar chart showing an increase over time. And, “TECH VALIDATION is performed to enhance functionality, security, and usability of the technology” with an icon of a checkmark superimposed over an open laptop computer.  Moving to the left “Teams have the opportunity to perform DEMOS at TTP Demo Days, conferences, and industry events”. In a callout box below the text, “27 DEMO EVENTS held” is indicated. The step to the left, “To bring together the right elements for commercialization, we do OUTREACH & MATCHMAKING” has a call out box above with the words “OPERATORS, INVESTORS, DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS, MENTORS” stacked. Moving down to the bottom left hand corner of the chart is “Interested partners get an evaluation license to do PILOTS and deploy the technology in their environments” with a callout box above the text stating “17 PILOTS initiated”.  Moving to the right, the final step states “We’re successful when our technologies TRANSITION TO: STARTUPS, COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS, OPEN SOURCE, GOVERNMENT USE”. This text is in block bracketing with the TTP program bridge icon at the top right hand corner.

Performers

The TTP program identifies promising cybersecurity technologies from several sources of federally funded R&D, including:

  • Department of Energy National Labs
  • Department of Defense-Affiliated Labs
  • Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC)
  • University-Affiliated Research Centers (UARC)
  • Universities receiving federal grants

Accomplishments/Impact

Since its inception in 2012, the TTP program has successfully transitioned more than a dozen federally funded cybersecurity technologies and helped create several cybersecurity startups to include the following:

AMICO (University of Georgia, NSF grantee): Available as open source

DigitalAnts (PNNL): Licensed by IP Group; product in development

Flower (PNNL): Licensed to zSofTech Solutions; product is part of cybersecurity offering

Hone (PNNL): Available as open source

Hyperion (ORNL): Licensed to Lenvio Inc; product in use by government and large corporations

Keylime (MIT Lincoln Lab): Available as open source

LOCKMA (MIT Lincoln Lab): Licensed to several companies for use in government solutions

MLSTONES (PNNL): Licensed by IP Group; product in development

NeMS (LLNL): Licensed to Cambridge Global; in development

PACRAT (PNNL): Licensed to Rhino Corp; adding capability to existing product

PathScan (LANL): Licensed by Ernst & Young; product is part of cybersecurity offering

PCapDB (SNL): Available as open source

PEACE (WPI, NSF grantee): Available commercially from ContexSure Networks LLC, a cyber security startup

REnigma (JHU APL): Available commercially from Deterministic Security, a cyber security start up

SCOT (SNL): Available as open source

SerialTap (PNNL): Licensed by IP Group; product in development

Quantum Security (LANL): Licensed to Whitewood Encryption Systems; available commercially

ZeroPoint (University of North Carolina, NSF grantee): Available commercially from ZeroPoint Dynamics, a network security start up

Resources

For the latest information about S&T Cybersecurity, visit the S&T Cybersecurity News, Publications, Videos and Events pages.

Publications, Infographic, Fact Sheet & Video

Contact

Program Manager: Dr. Nadia Carlsten

Email: ST.TTP@hq.dhs.gov

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