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What is a CRADA?


A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) is an agreement between a Federal laboratory and a non-Federal party to perform collaborative research and development in any area that is consistent with the Federal laboratory's mission. CRADAs are a frequently used mechanism for formalizing interactions and partnerships between private industry and NRL, and the only mechanism for receiving funds from non-Federal sources for collaborative work.

Under the statute that authorizes CRADAs (15 USC 3710a), a Federal laboratory may provide personnel, services, facilities, and equipment, but no funds, to the joint research and development effort. A non-Federal party may provide funds, in addition to personnel, services, facilities, and equipment to the joint effort.

A CRADA defines the tasks to be done within an area of collaboration and grants the Government a Government purpose license and the non-Federal party a non-exclusive, paid-up, royalty-free license for internal use of any inventions that result from the CRADA research. The non-Federal party is also granted an option to negotiate either an exclusive or nonexclusive commercial license within a pre-specified, CRADA-related field of use, subject to Government-purpose rights. The CRADA also provides protection of both sides’ proprietary information.

When is a CRADA appropriate?


When there is collaboration and a defined project of interest. NRL does not enter into CRADAs for broad research or topical areas. CRADAs offer the opportunity for NRL scientists to collaborate with non-Federal parties on research-related efforts of joint interest and joint development. They may be funded or unfunded by the non-Federal party. A CRADA requires commitments that certain research tasks will be performed by the parties jointly, although commonly, there are tasks performed by each side independently as well. If the anticipated work is to be performed by NRL only, the appropriate agreement is most likely a Work for Non-Federal Entities Agreement.

For additional CRADA questions, please contact us.