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Jan 31, 2017 02:50 PM EST

NASA will accept student interns from UNA College of Business and College of Arts and Sciences starting this year. The internship program partnership will be the first between NASA and UNA. A signing ceremony on February 7 of this year will make the partnership official.

The internship program will focus on enhancing students' skills in writing business plans. This is part of their business writing course. The plans will be based on patents kept at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Florida. They will be allowed to choose a patent and explore it prior to writing their business plan, according to Times Daily.

Thousands of patents had been submitted to NASA. Through the internship program, these patents can be shared with the rest of the world. Students will be trained to convert a patent into a workable business plan.

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This move will be one of the means that the agency will be taking to fill the gap between patents and commercialization. Some patents have tremendous potential for commercialization but nothing was done to explore the area.

The student internship program for UNA students is just one of several on-the-job trainings conducted by NASA. Cesar Tapia, a graduate student from Manhattan College will have his internship with the mission control. He will concentrate on cybersecurity. He will work with another alumnus of Manhattan College, Annie Meier. Meier is a chemical engineer and was hired for a regular post at NASA after finishing her internship, according to Manhattan College.

These patents present lots of technologies that can contribute to life on earth. Some of these technologies had never been unlocked and used. The internship program will be one way of finding out what can be developed from them.

The internship program will be one way of mining talents from the thousands of young people who possess the knowledge, skills, and scientific curiosity to contribute to the mission of NASA.

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