Boston-based investment company Allied Minds, has come to agreements with the US Department of Defense federal laboratories and research centers to create a series of public-private partnerships that will use technology transfer as a driver for economic growth and spur the global competitiveness of U.S. industry. The work was coordinated through Allied Minds subsidiary, Allied Minds Federal Innovations Inc. (AMFI), which will work with U.S. Army RDECOM (Research, Development, and Engineering Command), Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane), and The Aerospace Corp. to create a new process for the transfer and commercialization of some of those labs’ leading technology innovations.
Allied Minds is the only U.S. private investment firm to reach agreements with federally funded labs as part of a new initiative by the Defense Department to use its research and development resources to benefit the nation’s economy. These partnerships extend beyond the norm for typical commercialization agreements: Each agreement creates a partner-tailored platform for successful technology transfer and new-company growth. Traditionally, intellectual property and cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) were devised to connect agencies with private companies to develop only a single product or service.
The agreements build on a partnership that AMFI formed earlier this year with The Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) to collaboratively research and develop new and existing intellectual property (IP) to produce commercial products, services and technologies. Under terms of all the agreements, AMFI will review technologies with commercial potential and license their use. The firm will then fully fund the establishment of new businesses to develop commercial applications for those innovations. The start-up companies that will be formed by AMFI across the U.S. will provide an important boost to local economies and a new source for job growth.
Allied Minds plans to initially invest $100 million in the partnerships and anticipates establishing through its investment model 20 companies in the first year. At scale, the investment firm expects to develop as many as 100 companies a year.
RDECOM manages more than 11,000 engineers and scientists that oversee research in such areas as human robotic interactions and advanced energy. The approximately 2,600 scientists at Aerospace Corp. of El Segundo, California, provide independent technical and scientific research and advisory services to the U.S. Air Force and a number of government agencies, including NASA. NSWC Crane is the third-largest navy installation in the world and develops innovative, leading-edge technical solutions with its more than 2,000 scientists, engineers and technicians.
“By partnering with AMFI, the Center is now poised to help improve the commercialization of critical technologies and also potentially stimulate our nation’s economy,” said Joseph D. Wienand, Acting Deputy Director of RDECOM.
Allied Minds takes an ownership stake in each business it forms, and provides all funding and management so that it’s intimately involved at each stage of strategy and growth. Allied Minds currently works with more than 40 universities on a similar commercialization structure, and has provided funding and management expertise for the creation of more than 20 companies during the past six years. These businesses include: Sound Cure; Spin Transfer Technologies; Optio Labs;
RF Biocidics; SiEnergy Systems; and SciFluor Life Sciences.
Current subsidiaries of AMFI include Allied Communications which develops wireless communications technology and Broadcast Routing Fountains which is an Internet architecture that leverages broadcast channels for disseminating routing information.
AMFI will be headed up by John Serafini, who was previously a principal at Good Harbor Consulting where he partnered with former White House advisor Richard Clarke. He also worked at Paladin Capital as a venture capital/growth equity investor and M&A specialist with sector concentration in cybersecurity and expertise in managing investments impacted by U.S. national security regulations.