Contracting Cone

BAA vs R&D Agreements

Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs)
Research and Development

BAAs are used to obtain proposals for basic and applied research and development to advance or evaluate cutting edge technologies, not related to a specific system or hardware requirement. BAAs should be used when meaningful solutions can be expected. BAAs are typically “open” and proposals accepted for a specified period of time. Proposals submitted in response to BAAs may or may not lead to contracts.

BAAs may be used for the award of science and technology proposals for the following: 

  • Basic research (budget activity 6.1)
  • Applied research (budget activity 6.2)
  • Advanced technology development (budget activity 6.3)
  • Advanced component development and prototypes (budget activity 6.4)


BAAs may be used to award FAR-based contracts or non-FAR based agreements.

The DoD has a few agreement strategy options to partner with other federal agencies, state and local governments, academia, industry, and non-profits to collaboratively mature technologies, develop solutions, demonstrate capabilities, and/or accelerate technology transfers. These are flexible agreements with intellectual property provisions to share or protect one’s IP rights. The R&D Agreement strategies include Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), Partnership Intermediary Agreements (PIAs), and Technology Investment Agreements (TIAs).
Common Applications
  • Research & Development (R&D) studies
  • Prototypes
  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) efforts
  • Science & Technology (S&T) initiatives
  • Technology maturation
  • Research Development & Demonstration (RD&D) collaboration and technology advancement efforts
  • Services to facilitate technology transfer to private sector
  • Increases knowledge in areas of strategic importance and technical capability to programs
  • Streamlined evaluation process based on technical merit increases flexibility to select innovative capability solutions
  • Enables industry to collaborate with government to jointly research and develop technologies with both commercial and military applications
  • Enables government to acquire expertise without monetary payments to the collaborating partner (CRADA)
  • Partnership intermediaries can function as objective third-party brokers between government and industry to increase opportunity for commercialization of new capability (PIA)
  • Partnership intermediaries can engage in proactive marketing of lab technologies to industry to enable tech transition/tech insertion (PIA)
  • Fosters best technologies for future defense needs
  • Limitations on use of BAAs increases burden on government to transition capability to acquisition programs
  • Intellectual property and data rights increases burden on government to ensure rights are explicit during transition to acquisition programs
  • Cannot acquire products in quantity
  • Requires knowledgeable and skilled contracting officer to negotiate and execute
  • Complexity to negotiate and execute increases time to establish agreement
  • High risk / high reward environment reduces opportunity for technology transition to program of record
  • Limited to basic and applied research
  • Must be funded using RDT&E funds
  • Cannot be used for specific system or hardware solution
  • Cannot be used for systems engineering and advisory services
  • Cannot be used for production
  • Limited to government owned or government owned, contractor operated labs
  • Collaborating partner may contribute funds to the effort, as well as personnel, services and property
  • May not provide for research that duplicates research being conducted under existing programs carried out by DoD