The Institute is organized into Departments representing its general functions. The roles, responsibilities and assets of each Department and their respective Divisions are detailed in the sections below.
The Marketing Department is responsible for brand building and standardization across the organization, promotion and public relations of The Institute as a parent organization.
Portfolio Company Services:
Marketing capability is also made available as a service to The Institute’s Portfolio Companies as needed to supplement their early teams as they grow. The Marketing Department will work closely with the Educational Outreach Division of the Public Benefit Department for the organization, promotion and execution of promotional and educational community events and sponsorships.
Research and Development Department
Research and Development is a strong core competency of The Institute, with vast skill sets in multiple advanced fields of study. Our R&D Department is headed up by The Institute's Research and Development Director, Richard Eskridge, and is organized into the following Divisions listed below.
The Institute has a Technical Services Division as a vehicle to provide scientific and engineering consulting services to those seeking our expertise. The following services are available.
Third-Party Assessment and Technical Due Diligence Services:
The Institute possess a unique capability to knowledgably review unproven device designs, prototype testing results and hot-off-the-presses scientific data sets. This makes us a convenient and well-equipped resource to provide technical due diligence services including written assessment of the theoretical soundness of the scientific assertions, comments on the technical feasibility of device designs or review of data analysis upon request.
Custom Data Analysis Services:
The Institute is well prepared to help clients analyze complex data sets. With a pool of diversely experienced data scientists to draw from, The Institute can help analyze and informatively visualize data that the client has already collected by their own means. High speed data collection and dynamic data visualization systems can also be developed to interface with a client’s existing hardware if requested.
Custom Software Development Services:
Custom Hardware Rapid Prototyping Services:
If a client comes in with an early stage and/or unproven device idea that requires specialized talent and equipment to build out, The Institute has significant expertise and access to equipment to provide in-house rapid prototyping consulting services. The Institute’s team is skilled at bringing a preliminary device design to a fully assembled and safely operating reality – quickly.
The Institute possess significant core competency in Defense, Aerospace and Space Sciences via our staff populated by former Defense and Aerospace research scientists. These scientists are pulled from the local Defense and Aerospace economy in Huntsville, AL and elsewhere and represent collectively some of the most advanced know-how in the world. The Institute has custody of a number of technologies that originated in the military industrial complex for Defense and Space applications which we are now applying to not just their original government customer needs, but to commercial terrestrial market applications as well.
Led by Joshua Crumbaugh, an internationally recognized white hat hacker, social engineer and cybersecurity expert, The Institute has access to some of the top Cybersecurity and Blockchain talent in the world. Our capabilities will soon be applied to the many problem sets which exist in our nation’s current satellite, communications and space related infrastructure. Blockchain (or, more generally, “distributed ledger technology”) also has a myriad of Defense, Aerospace and terrestrial market applications for producing auditable records of critical materials, supply chains and data sets.
Many of the Defense and Aerospace technologies that The Institute has access to were originally developed to address issues of national security, but in fact these technologies have myriad applications to human health and wellness as well. The Institute has a commitment to applying these often under-leveraged defense technologies to improving the human health and quality of life of the very same taxpayers who originally funded the early stage technology development.
Huntsville, AL is home to the unique skill sets of our internal staff and the additional steady supply of well qualified consulting scientists from a diverse set of backgrounds - a talent pool which together represents a resource which is singular among the nation for its high magnitude of education, industry experience, prior military service, small business and startup activity related to aerospace and advanced physics. Because of this, The Institute has opened a Special Projects Division. The aim of the Special Projects Division is to provide select consulting clients access to the kind of uniquely qualified expert technical talent that is available to us here at The Institute in Huntsville and which is present at these concentrations essentially nowhere else. The Special Projects Division works very closely with the Defense, Aerospace and Space Sciences Division.
The Institute’s expertise is particularly well developed in the fields of advanced “exotic” propulsion systems, nuclear power and propulsion, neutron generation, fission, plasma physics, high voltage pulsed power experimentation, gas combustion physics, valve design, ultrasonic device design, microwave engineering, antenna design, high speed rail gun development, high speed microprojectile impact testing, laser design, development and diagnostics, theoretical physics, spin physics, metamaterials and metallurgy, material science, solid state chemistry, effects of novel superconducting materials, and development of theoretical space-time models with additional extensive hands on capabilities in rapid prototype development, assembling and testing, machine shop and 3D printing capabilities and access to off-site vacuum chamber testing among other skill sets and available resources.
The Special Projects Division gives outside consulting clients access to this vast collection of in house resources and capabilities in addition to extensive off-site partnerships and technical capability. The Special Projects Division also conducts internal R&D.
The Institute has opened an Agricultural Science Division due to the many current food farming, harvesting, processing and other bottlenecks which attribute to hunger and economic burden. Similar advanced technologies will also be applicable to the problem of growing food at scale in space, meaning this Division may likely soon collaborate with the Defense, Aerospace and Space Sciences Division.
The Commercialization Department is run by The Institute’s COO and Business Development Director Dick Reeves. Mr. Reeves has operated technology-focused business incubators and has organized related investor networks for over 25 years in the southeast US. This Department is responsible for performing The Institute’s Business Case Triage Process and for taking qualified technologies to the commercial market once handed off from our Research and Development Department as a result of passing our Technical Triage Process. The Commercialization Department is organized into the following Divisions.
The Institute’s Business Development Division is responsible for managing revenue generating contracts, curating business opportunities related to incoming intellectual property, and conducting our Business Case Triage Process. In this way, the Business Development Division acts as a gatekeeper for IP exiting the Research Development Department and entering the Commercialization Department’s Associate Company Development Division.
The Associate Company Development Division is responsible for taking qualified technologies to the commercial market once handed off from our Research and Development Department as a result of passing our Technical Triage Process. Candidate technologies must also pass the Business Case Triage Process in the Business Development Division. Approved technologies then pass into the Technology Commercialization Process of the Associate Company Development Division. This process supports a standardized platform for funneling advanced defense and aerospace technologies into stand-alone commercial startups which address terrestrial commercial markets at scale.
Visit the Portfolio Company page to see more about The Institute's current pipeline of commercial startups which deploy space-aged technology into well established present day markets.
Portfolio Company Services:
The Institute's Sales Division is dedicated to providing shared sales resources to our incubated portfolio companies as they stand up sales staff of their own over their natural course of funding and growth. The Institute's Sales Division will employ sales contractors trained in technology, aerospace and commercial sales as needed, which are then provided to the portfolio companies for a service fee. This resource allows The Institute's entire ecosystem to scale faster.
The Institute's Economic Studies Division works in conjunction with our Public Benefit Department to conduct studies related to the current stagnation of the world's innovation economy. We are interested in discovering and defining possible strategies to respark America's economic engine which has been relying on ever dwindling inputs of creativity, ingenuity and risk tolerance as fuel.
Public Benefit Corporation
The Institute is a Public Benefit Corporation, also known as a B Corp. As a B Corp, The Institute has responsibilities to both it's shareholders and to it's self-defined public benefit mission. Educational Outreach and Economic Development are two areas of interest to our goal of sparking a new paradigm in the innovation economy through preparing the next generation of technologists and entrepreneurs.
Educational Outreach Division
Breaking technological barriers requires the training and retainment of top talent. As a Public Benefit Corporation, The Institute has a special interest in educational outreach programs and recognizes that we must curate the best talent, starting with the education and technical training of the local employee pool. The Public Benefit will work with the Marketing Department for the planning and execution of educational events and activities.
In addition to the curation of top talent, educational outreach activities are intended to speed up the market adoption of exotic and hot-off-the-presses technologies through increased awareness of these discoveries and developments among the public and among potential customers and acquirers within the broader industrial markets. Educational outreach is thus an integral aspect of both The Institute’s public benefit mission and it's business model.
Economic Development Division
The Institute recognizes how risk averse investment trends have let America slide from a rapidly innovating economy to a more conservative rate of new technology adoption. This is a point of national security just as much as it is an economic concern. Bringing the space-aged "Star Trekian" future we all want tomorrow requires informed, intentional, and innovative use of funds today. We must bridge the technology development "valley of death" often present in emerging markets, the commercial space economy being an example of such.
We are in a time of market transition and are approaching a coming technology revolution that has yet to identify itself clearly. It is our resposibility and our challenge as forward looking technologists and entrepreneurs to mitigate the instrinsic risk of making long term investments in early stage technologies in markets that may not yet be mature. Our approach is to diversify investment across a portfolio of paradigm shifting technologies with far reaching consequences, but always pairing those game changing technologies with an early revenue generation strategy via minimum viable products spun out from early iterations of the tech.
The Economic Development Division of the Public Benefit Department will report on data collected by the Economic Studies Division of the Commercialization Department. The results of these studies will be made available to the community and larger data analysis projects will be conducted to better illuminate successful stragies that leverage technical innovation to significant business advantage and vast public benefit.
The Institute leverages opportunity zones as part of it's Economic Development and Public Benefit mission.