November 6, 2019 

 NASA and Women’s National Basketball Players Association Team Up for Tech Transfer Partnership

On the heels of last month’s first-ever all-women spacewalk, NASA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) announced a partnership to provide professional basketball players with opportunities to explore the agency’s technology licensing and its various applications.

“Many athletes have pursued successful careers as entrepreneurs after retiring from their athletic pursuits,” said Dennis Small, a senior technology manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Through our Space Act Agreement with the WNBPA, we’re looking to forge connections with future business owners and share NASA technologies with interested members to generate license agreements and the creation of startups that feature NASA technology.”

Founded in 1998, the WNBPA is the labor union for the basketball players of the WNBA. According to the WNBPA’s website, the organization’s core principles involve engaging members in “activities that will advance and safeguard the economic security and general social welfare of WNBA players both during and after their playing careers.”

In collaboration with the WNBPA, NASA will organize a technology workshop for WNBPA members to learn more about existing patented NASA technologies and how those technologies can be transferred to the private sector through licensing agreements. NASA will invite guest speakers to address the foundational skills needed to start a business.

“Over the last few years, the union has worked hard to build relationships with a variety of businesses and organizations that support the interests and career aspirations of WNBA players after basketball,” said Terri Jackson, executive director of the WNBPA. “This partnership with NASA allows our members to explore technology discoveries that started with space but could have applications in business.”

The WNBPA joins the NFL Players Association, the National Basketball Retired Players Association and the National Basketball Players Association as the fourth professional players association to form a partnership with NASA in the past year.

Jackson said the WNBPA consists of players who are “highly educated and always looking for opportunities to stretch themselves and pursue professional development as working women.” With Women’s Entrepreneurship Day approaching Nov. 19, Jackson said this partnership with NASA is a positive example of how “we all win when we invest time and energy into girls and women.”

To learn more about the NASA Technology Transfer program, please visit:

Dennis Small

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.


Erin Majerowicz

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

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