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Cooperative Research and
Development Agreement


The most common and flexible way for federal labs to work with the public sector, and vice versa, is through collaborative R&D agreements. The Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) is one of the most significant mechanisms for T2, and through them a federal lab can commit resources such as personnel, facilities, equipment, intellectual property, or other resources—but not funds—to any interested nonfederal party. A CRADA serves as a contract of sorts, whereby both parties should have the same expectations and understanding about the outcome of the agreement.

Why Use A CRADA?


Authority is provided under 15 U.SC. § 3710a


Requires less time and effort to initiate traditional procurement mechanisms (FAR, DFARS, and SBIR)


Lab selects the collaborator (but you must attempt to provide equal opportunity to all)


Takes into consideration private industry needs


Lab can receive funds FROM a collaborator


Government retains license to improvements in data and Background Technology


Encourages small businesses participation


Advances research and technology base – faster, better, cheaper


Not a procurement contract or grant - FAR does not apply

Collaborators Can Be:

Units of State or local government

Industrial organizations (corporations, partnerships, limited partnerships and industrial development organizations)

Public and private foundations

Nonprofit organizations (including universities)

Other persons (such as licensees of AF inventions)

Other federal agencies only if there is a non-federal partner