Development of a Method to Analyze and Classify Problem Statements in Technology Transfer

  • Jeffrey S Harper


This paper reports on the development of a method to analyze and classify the problem statements of requestors of technology transfer assistance through NASA?s Marshall Space Flight Center. Without a classification structure for problem statements, those responsible for finding solutions to technology-related problems have been unable to easily determine whether a problem is unique or if a solution has already been determined for similar problems. A content analysis approach was developed to analyze problem statements from a technology transfer requests database. Results from the analysis were used to build a hierarchical classification structure which categorized the problem statements to three levels of detail. The resulting classification structure was evaluated and validated by an independent expert. Prior to this study, no method for analysis and classification of problem statements was available to those responsible for providing technology transfer assistance. The research indicates that a useful analysis and classification methodology that should improve the efficiency of the technology transfer process has been developed.