Creating Long Term Income Streams for the 100 Year Starship Study Initiative

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A. J. Sylvester (2014), JBIS, 67, pp.147-149

Refcode: 2014.67.147
Keywords: Spinout company, funding strategy, exit strategy, technology transfer

Development and execution of long term research projects are very dependent on a consistent application of funding to maximize the potential for success. The business structure for the 100 Year Starship Study project should allow for multiple income streams to cover the expenses of the research objectives. The following examples illustrate the range of potential avenues: 1) affiliation with a charitable foundation for creating a donation program to fund a long term endowment for research, 2) application for grants to fund initial research projects and establish the core expertise of the research entity, 3) development of intellectual property which can then be licensed for additional revenue, 4) creation of spinout companies with equity positions retained by the lab for funding the endowment, and 5) funded research which is dual use for the technology goals of the interstellar flight research objectives. With the establishment of a diversified stream of funding options, then the endowment can be funded at a level to permit dedicated research on the interstellar flight topics. This paper will focus on the strategy of creating spinout companies to create income streams which would fund the endowment of the 100 Year Starship Study effort. This technique is widely used by universities seeking to commercially develop and market technologies developed by university researchers. An approach will be outlined for applying this technique to potentially marketable technologies generated as a part of the 100 Year Starship Study effort.

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