Talk:Hackerspaces Global Space Program

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Here are some initial questions we had from our discussion we had about this at Makers Local 256 on May 17, 2012:

Excellent questions... At this point I (jerry isdale) have very very few solid answers. We are currently just starting contract negotiation - like they sent me a couple emails saying we'll get back to you shortly. Most of these questions need to be addressed in the negotiations. Our first task - in parallel with early negotatiions - is to set up the company that will actually sign the contract. We need people to help put this together. Then we can answer the questions.

--- the questions ...

Parameters of the proposals:

Are they looking for exploratory, observational and/or hypothesis driven questions?

Are there any off-limits for use of the grant funds?

Who ultimately owns the IP? While it is Open Source, for any of the IP to be licensed to others, we have to have an idea of who owns it and who can license it.

Will there be any requirement or encouragement to engage partners (e.g. NASA folks or other educational facilities)?

Will the funds be distributed directly to the organization? (Which, by the way, brings up the question of whether Makers has multiple accounts in order to sequester funds brought in for specific projects?)

Are there audit and reporting requirements? Any benchmarks required? What will be the timeline for funding (all at once, over the course of the project, as needed)?

How will the funding organization evaluate the budget?

Does DARPA expect the sub-grantees to follow any of the DARPA rules?

Are there limitations on the ability to publish, present or disseminate to the public what is being done, data garnered, etc?

Will any Dept. of Defense facilities be available or offered for testing, prototyping or comparison?

Will there be any limitations based on citizenship (unlikely, if they are pushing for global) for participants?

They mention spin-off companies. How will the technology, data, or other things out of the Hackerspace be transferred for use in a spin-off? This is incredibly important to develop in the beginning as we have seen these types of arrangements deteriorate people and organizations quickly based on arguments of who gets what and who gets paid what.

Other things from the meeting:

1. We should reach out to folks at HudsonAlpha re education. They have it down and can give some pointers.

2. Also, have you thought about approaching Space and Rocket Center? One of the attorneys here is on the board, I can talk to him or find out who the best person to talk to is.

3. There are numerous companies in town that would love to help us with this. However, a word of caution (putting on attorney hat). Any company that helps us, we have to have an agreement in place about the Open Source issue. If we don't, I have met enough folks in town that will attempt to take the technology and patent/copyright it for their own uses.

4. I will try to remember to send emails to Jose Matienza (Director of the Huntsville Advanced Defense Technology Cluster Initiative). He is in contact with other clusters around the country (Small Business Administration gave huge grants to get these up and running...I think there are 10-12 in all). Some of them are also working with space type companies.

5. We really need to get Marty Kress on our side (Director/Prez of Von Braun Center for Science & Innovation). Marty knows practically everyone in the state, well and outside to. He was the former NASA Center Deputy, VP of NASA/Space group with the National Security Dvision of Battelle Science and Tech International, and on the board of tons of universities. And extremely nice. He loves this kind of thing, tinkers taking on huge tech problems.