When I recently described my latest experience at the 25th Annual JPL High-Tech Small Business Conference to a colleague she replied with: “That’s an effective way to maximize the ROI at technical business development conferences.” At previous industry tradeshows, I hadn’t allocated enough time to attend the technical workshops and networking events; 2013 was going to be different. I was going to stay in the hotel for two days and attend the workshops and networking events. Erik Dieckhoff, NPI Business Development Manager, was going to walk the marketplace in a few hours and leave soon after to beat the traffic back to Orange County, like I always did in the past.
Judy with Adam Steltzner
The workshops were given by NASA, JPL and other national research lab experts seeking small business collaboration for new processes and materials. Experts such as Adam Steltzner, the manager of the planetary descent and landing of Curiosity on Mars, shared the R&D innovation process that supported this spectacular collaborative science accomplishment. The team effort brought tears to my eyes as he described the magnitude of the $2.5 billion research project. If only we could measure the ROI on this magnificent astrobiology project.
The IT experts from JPL enthusiastically wowed the audiences with leading-edge 3D sensor touchless touch demos, 3D printing and other NPI products that support Thomas Friedman’s book “The World is Flat”, especially when it comes to technical collaboration. My traditional phobias of cloud technologies were eased some by the JPL/NASA progress in securing the cloud for technical design communication systems. The open-source mobile development platforms enable unlimited global and local collaboration. Conferences like this keep the spark of innovation glowing in all of those passionate about STEM education: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The next time you have an opportunity to attend a conference, spend a little more time imaging the possibilities of NPI in the next five to ten years. Please call today if you would like your research team to collaborate with NPI Services.