University of North Alabama and NASA Agree to Partnership

By Bryan Rachal

FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have agreed to a partnership, with students reaping the benefits.

As part of this endeavor, UNA will host a NASA day on campus, Feb. 7. Information about the program will be provided, and NASA officials will be on hand to speak with various classes across campus. The day will culminate with the official signing of the agreement between the two entities.

The partnership with NASA will initially include the College of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences, and will focus on attracting high-quality undergraduate students majoring in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, management, marketing and entrepreneurship disciplines.

“The program is an innovative approach to engage students early on as undergraduates and employ nontraditional classroom methods to allow top students to engage in experiential learning,” said Dr. Santanu Borah, UNA professor of Management and Marketing. “The purpose of the path is to provide high-achieving students with the business knowledge needed to successfully manage high-tech businesses,” he said.

Students will have the opportunity to gain entrepreneurial experience focused on how to conduct market analysis and commercialization methods on NASA patents. Under the collaboration, NASA will make selected patents available for UNA students enrolled in this program to conduct market analysis and prepare both a classroom presentation and a written report. NASA, on the other hand, will benefit from the identification of new markets and commercial partners.

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