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NCAR News Release


2003-28 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 21, 2003

UCAR Foundation to Launch Technology Transfer Company

Contact:

David Hosansky
UCAR Communications
Telephone: (303) 497-8611
E-mail: hosansky@ucar.edu

BOULDER—A new company to guide atmospheric research from the laboratory to the commercial market will open for business in August. Located in Boulder, Peak Weather Resources Inc. will rely on initial seed funding from the UCAR Foundation but will operate independently from it.The UCAR Foundation was created by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in 1986 to commercialize UCAR knowledge and technology. UCAR is a consortium of 66 university members that grant doctoral degrees in the atmospheric and related sciences. UCAR manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the UCAR Office of Programs (UOP).

To help promote UCAR’s mission to serve the research community, Peak Weather will adapt technical knowledge from the organization’s research labs at NCAR and UOP for use by the commercial and public sectors. The company will provide marketing expertise; develop installation, operation, and maintenance procedures; maintain a data center; and more. These services will be especially helpful to programs at NCAR that produce commercially marketable research in exchange for continued sponsor funding.

"NCAR is a technology and know-how engine, and often the research technology it produces has wide-ranging commercial applications," says Russ Peterman, president of Peak Weather. "It will be up to the UCAR Foundation and Peak Weather to assist in finding and nurturing these commercial applications."Although Peak Weather may create joint ventures that the UCAR Foundation can spin off as independent companies, Peak Weather itself will remain a permanent, for-profit arm of the Foundation, offering a number of technologies. The company’s target clients include the private sector, government entities such as the departments of Defense and Homeland Security, and international markets. It may also assist UCAR member universities with their own commercialization efforts.

Peterman points out that society's attitudes toward research investment have shifted in recent years. The public expects innovations from federally funded labs to be shared with the entire community. Some federal agencies that sponsor research at NCAR encourage technology transfer through commercialization before funding certain research projects. Legislation passed by Congress in the 1980s promotes business relationships between for-profit firms and university and government research facilities. Technology transfer through commercialization not only fulfills social goals, Peterman says, but also brings revenue to the research process itself.

Peak Weather’s initial board of directors includes Peterman, formerly a senior manager in NCAR’s Research Applications Program (RAP); Brant Foote, director of RAP; Jeff Reaves, vice president of the UCAR Foundation; and Don Veal, former president of the University of Wyoming and a founder of Particle Measurement Systems in Boulder. Peterman expects the company to hire a small technical and support staff in the first year of operations.Peterman is a former president of Vaisala Meteorological Systems Inc., whose parent company, Vaisala Oyj, is one of the largest meteorological instrument companies worldwide. Previously he was a principal scientist and vice president at Radian International, where he managed a component business in wind profiling radar systems.

 

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The National Center for Atmospheric Research and UCAR Office of Programs are operated by UCAR under the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation and other agencies. Opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any of UCAR's sponsors. UCAR is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

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Last revised: Thursday, July 24, 2003 1:51 PM