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NASA opens its doors to outsiders

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NASA Ames Research Park director Michael Marlaire discusses the plan to build a new research and development facility in Silicon Valley.

NASA Ames Research Park director Michael Marlaire talks about how the facility is opening its doors in Silicon Valley to build a culture of collaboration. Enter the campus for tech startups. This is a research and development campus, with a physical research center that has 70 partners on site.

Marlaire said the space agency wants to bring in more technology companies and educational institutions to share ideas and knowledge in the areas of clean tech and other emerging technologies.

"We love startups. We've had Bloom Energy. We have the ability to share ideas," Marlaire said. "The low-paid rental housing for faculty and students to live on site gives you the 24/7 idea of sharing ideas," he added.

According to a newsletter put out by the agency's research park, some of the projects on site include:

  • The Vasper System made with the NuStep T5XR, a 2.5 hour workout becomes a 20 minute workout. Add 20 minutes to the workout to recover - without hardly breaking a sweat. It uses liquid-cooled vascular compression, special electrical technology and a cooling technology.
  • E Green Technologies introduced its greenest and lightest airship at Moffett Field.
  • Bloom Energy has NASA roots, when a Bloom executive solved the resource problem for a Mars mission.
  • LatlPnet is a non-profit organization that sets up tech partnerships between Silicon Valley and Latin America. Dr. Meyya Meyyappan inspired students to study science and technology after telling them stories about his nanotechnology research and his travels.

Sandia National Laboratories and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are trying something similar.

According to Sandia:

The approximately 110-acre [facility] would provide expanded opportunities for research collaborations between the laboratories and external partners. As currently envisioned, it would reside along the eastern edge of the LLNL and SNL sites.

It's good that the government labs are encouraging collaboration after all these years. What do you think?

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Boonsri Dickinson

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Boonsri Dickinson is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has written for Discover, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Nature Biotech, Technewsdaily.com, Techstartups.com and AOL. She's currently a reporter for Business Insider. She holds degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure