Contracting Cone

Technology Investment Agreement (TIA)

 

A TIA is an instrument used to stimulate or support commercial firm involvement in pursuing best technologies for defense research. TIAs are appropriate when research objectives are unlikely to be achieved using other types of contract instruments.

TIAs may be executed as a cooperative agreement or a type of assistance transaction other than a grant or cooperative agreement, such as a Research Other Transaction (OT) – 10 U.S.C. §2371.

  • TIAs are executed as cooperative agreements in accordance with the DoD Grant and Agreement Regulations (DoDGARs) – 32 CFR Part 21 when the government does not intend to deviate from the Bayh-Dole Act (35 U.S.C. Chapter 18  and 37 CFR Part 401) which permits a university, small business, or non-profit institution to pursue ownership of an invention made using government provided funds.
  • Research OTs are used to execute TIAs when the government seeks to retain intellectual property rights that deviate from the Bayh-Dole Act.

 

Cost Sharing

To the maximum extent practicable, the non-Federal parties carrying out a research project under a TIA are to provide at least half of the costs of the project. Obtaining cost sharing, to the maximum extent practicable, is a statutory condition for any TIA under the authority of 10 U.S.C. §2371, and is a matter of DoD policy for all other TIAs.

 

Competition

DoD policy is to award TIAs using merit-based, competitive procedures, as described in 32 CFR 22.315, in every case where required by statute; and to the maximum extent practicable in all other cases.

 

Justification

Before deciding that a TIA is appropriate, you also must judge that using a TIA could benefit defense research objectives in ways that likely would not happen if another type of assistance instrument were used (e.g., a cooperative agreement subject to all of the requirements of 32 CFR Part 34).

The following questions must be addressed to justify the use and benefits of a TIA (32 CFR §37.225):

Will a TIA expand vendor participation?

Will the use of a TIA permit the involvement in the research of any commercial firms or business units of firms that would not otherwise participate in the project?

If so:

  • What are the expected benefits of those firms’ or divisions’ participation (e.g., is there a specific technology that could be better, more readily available, or less expensive)?
  • Why would they not participate if an instrument other than a TIA were used?
      • Identify specific provisions of the TIA or features of the TIA award process that enable their participation.

Will a TIA create new relationships?

Will the use of a TIA allow the creation of new relationships among participants at the prime or sub-tier levels, among business units of the same firm, or between non-Federal participants and the Federal Government that will help the DoD get better technology in the future? 

If so:

  • Why do these new relationships have the potential for helping the DoD get technology in the future that is better, more affordable, or more readily available?
  • Are there provisions of the TIA or features of the TIA award process that enable these relationships to form?
      • If so, identify specifically what they are.
      • If not, explain why the relationships could not be created if an assistance instrument other than a TIA were used.

Will a TIA enable new business practices?

Will the use of a TIA allow firms or business units of firms that traditionally accept Government awards to use new business practices in the execution of the research that will help the DoD get better technology, help the DoD get new technology more quickly or less expensively, or facilitate partnering with commercial firms?

If so:

  • What specific benefits will the DoD potentially get from the use of these new practices?
  • Are there provisions of the TIA or features of the TIA award process that enable the use of the new practices?
      • If so, identify those provisions or features and explain why the practices could not be used if the award were made using an assistance instrument other than a TIA.

Other benefits of using a TIA?

Are there any other benefits of the use of a TIA that could help the DoD better meet its objectives in carrying out the research project?

If so:

  • Identify specifically what they are,
  • How they can help meet defense objectives,
  • What features of the TIA or award process enable the DoD to realize them, and
  • Why the benefits likely would not be realized if an assistance instrument other than a TIA were used.
 
Common Applications
  • Reduce barriers to commercial firms’ participation in defense research to provide access to the broadest possible technology and industrial base
  • Permit involvement of commercial firms or business units of firms that would not otherwise participate in the project
  • Promote new relationships between the federal government and commercial firms
  • Enable firms to pursue new business practices to execute research for new technologies

 

Pros

Cons

Fosters research of best technologies for future defense needs Requires knowledgeable and skilled contracting officer to negotiate and execute
May be expenditure-based or fixed-support 32 CFR §37.300 Must justify using TIA rather than another type of contract instrument

 

 

Restrictions
  • Requires delegated authority from SECDEF or Service Secretary
  • Contracting Officer must have Agreement Officer authority to execute
  • 50/50 cost sharing arrangements must be considered to the maximum extend practicable
  • TIA recipients do not receive fee or profit

 

 

References

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