Contracting Cone

Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (15 USC §3710a)


A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) authorizes federal labs to enter into agreements with other federal agencies, state/local government, industry, non-profits, and universities for licensing agreements for lab developed inventions or intellectual property to commercialize products or processes originating in federal labs.

  • Labs may seek an industry partner with resources to successfully market invention or commercialize
  • Labs may seek an industry partner to stimulate a market for new technology
  • Non-federal/industry partner may seek government lab to further develop unique resources

Common Applications

  • Research Development & Demonstration (RD&D) collaboration and technology advancement efforts




Can be adapted to a variety of types of collaborative efforts between federal and non-federal organizations to transfer federally funded R&D to private sector High risk / high reward environment reduces opportunity for technology transition to program of record
Enables industry to collaborate with government to jointly research and develop technologies with both commercial and military applications
Streamlined process reduces time to establish agreement
Enables government to acquire expertise without monetary payments to the collaborating partner


  • Limited to government owned or government owned, contractor operated labs
  • Government may contribute wide variety of resources, but no funds
  • 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