Partnership Options

Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) are legal agreements between a government research and development laboratory and a non-Navy partner to cooperatively conduct research and development in a given technical area and share in the technical results derived from the joint effort. It can save both industry and the government laboratory costs and valuable time to achieve mutually desirable results.

View the Department of Navy's CRADAs online.

CRADAs can be initiated as the result of common technical interests which may come to light as the result of a variety of processes, such as:

  • Advertising in trade journals or trade shows
  • Technical paper presentation at conferences
  • Professional exchanges between researchers
  • Expansion of technology under currently licensed patents
  • Navy Technology Transfer Home Page on Internet
  • Referrals from the National Technology Transfer Center (NTTC), the Regional Technology
  • Transfer Centers (RTTC) or the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) databases
  • Annual Technology Briefings to Industry
  • Discussions with tenants of technology incubators
  • Customer calls for technical assistance

CRADAs frequently revolve around existing intellectual property which is used directly or expanded upon as a result of the CRADA. There is a process that must be used to determine legal rights for the intellectual property before the issuance of the CRADA and for the intellectual property developed as a result of the CRADA.

A commercial partner can provide facilities, equipment, personnel and funding to the CRADA. The government partner can provide the same things except for funding. The government can provide no funding under a CRADA or it would be considered a contract and then come under control of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR).

The Navy has a Navy-standard CRADA model. Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5700.17A (.pdf 81KB) delegates signature authority for CRADAs to commanding officers of naval laboratories.

Licensing Navy Patents

Patent License Agreements (PLAs) license commercial companies to commercially exploit patented government-developed technology. The government retains the rights to use the technology for government purposes. Royalty rights, legal rights, and other terms and conditions on the use of the technology are negotiated by the company and the government laboratory. Any royalties paid to the government are retained by the laboratory and, except for a small percentage that goes to the inventor(s), are used for activities that will generate more technology transfer opportunities. The licensee gains the technical knowledge and financial benefits of the government intellectual property.

Licensees must provide an application for licence to practice invention. The application will require a plan for commercializing the technology that includes technical goals for developing the product, an investment plan, and a time frame for bringing the product to the marketplace. PLAs can be exclusive, partially exclusive or nonexclusive. The partially exclusive license agreement serves as the basis for the exclusive license agreement. Licensees may work with employees of Navy laboratories to further develop or test the technology through a CRADA.

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