AmCham Slovenia and CEED have on the 13th of May 2010 organized »Business Cocktail« with a special guest - top expert in the area of space technology, Mr. Dušan Petrač, PhD, who has been working in the NASA research center in the USA for almost 40 years.
Mr. Petrač, PhD, presented in his lecture many cases (however only handful of the numerous innovations) how the technologies developed by the U.S. government agency NASA were transferred into the economy. It has been estimated that for every dollar U.S. had spent on R&D for space programs, it received $7 back in the form of corporate and personal income taxes from increased jobs and economic growth alone. During its space exploration program NASA developed an enormous number of innovations, which now provide direct benefits to our daily lives. If we list only a few such cases: Technologies for detection of cancerous diseases; Formulaid - enriched baby food; Water purification system using iodine rather than conventional chlorine; Scratch resistant lenses or glass; Ocular screening technology to detect eye problems in very young children, which was extremely difficult before the discovery; Cool suits for therapeutic purposes; Human tissue simulator used in medicine; The analyzer for analysis of anesthetic gases during operations; Voice-controlled wheelchairs; Wireless communication; Magnetic liquids; Studless winter tires material; Improved aircraft engines using so-called green technology or Turbofan, Self-righting life raft, Personal alarm system that displays the exact location of the emergency, Robotic hands, etc.
At the end of his lecture Mr. Petrač, PhD, emphasized that he could be speaking for many more hours about numerous innovations developed by NASA research center that now affect our daily lives. He also expressed his desire for stronger support of Research & Development in Slovenia, which in his opinion has many exceptional scientists.