With the Sochi Olympics still fresh in ourminds, we are deriving great inspiration from the physical feats, team efforts, and the dedicated training, coaching and partnerships that were behind every athletic success.

Even in the most individual of sports, partnership is key, which is something recently addressed by Mark Schmidt from NIST (National Institute of Science and Technology). Teaming with the right partners in a manufacturing environment is critical, and Schmidt uses a snowboarding apparel manufacturer to illustrate the point.

Snowboarding? Yes, snowboarding! You may have noticed the spiffy coats donned by our U.S. Olympic shredders. Burton, an American manufacturer of snowboards and related clothing, collaborated with a scientist from the U.S. Army’s Natick Army Labs to design new wearable technology that insulates, breathes and stays “warm and dry” despite weather conditions and internal body temperature.

The ‘right partner’ can help companies unlock creativity, ingenuity and originality. Silicon Valley has been doing this since day one. Our educational institutions and national labs, which are conveniently located in our back yard, foster an environment for information exchanges with our innovation economy. Additionally, quasi-public organizations like Manex, the East Bay Biomedical Manufacturing Network, and CalCEF are working on new methods to make tech transfer and commercialization happen seamlessly and rapidly.

Silicon Valley gets it. Technology transfer needs to happen across industry sectors and educational institutions. Innovation creates jobs and is a vital part of our long-term economic prosperity. Do you have a company that needs help with commercialization of their technology? Tell us.