Cooperative Research and Development Agreements

Tour of lab facilityNETL actively seeks opportunities to form partnerships with the private sector and academia to develop and commercialize new energy and environmental technologies through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs).

CRADAs are agreements between the Federal government and private sector participants to work together on a mutually beneficial project. Each partner in the CRADA applies whatever resources are agreed to, such as personnel, equipment, or facilities. While participant dollars may be used to fund portions of the government's effort, the government may not use Federal funds to support the private sector participant.

CRADAs are mutually beneficial because:

  • NETL and the participant can negotiate intellectual property disposition, such as rights to patents, protection of information, and exclusive or non-exclusive licensing of inventions.
  • The private sector participant can take advantage of the government's unique analytical capabilities.
  • The government and the private sector have the opportunity to develop relationships.

What makes a good CRADA? 
A good CRADA consists of a good project and a good partner.

Good projects address goals that benefit both the private sector participant and NETL. NETL seeks CRADA partnerships using technologies that align with its mission of solving national energy and environmental problems and fall under NETL's major areas of Fuels and Specialty Markets, Power Systems, and Environmental Management.

NETL gives preference to partners whose business units are located in the United States and who agree that products resulting from the CRADA will be manufactured substantially in the United States. If the potential partner is part of a foreign-owned company, NETL will consider how that country deals with U.S.-based companies.

Also considered in the formation of a CRADA are:

  • The resources offered by the proposed participant.
  • NETL's resource availability.
  • The specific contribution of the project to NETL's R&D program.

How is a CRADA initiated? 
The most effective way to initiate a CRADA is for the potential participant to send a letter expressing interest to a NETL technical point of contact or to one of the administrative contacts listed below.

The expression of interest triggers discussions within NETL and between NETL and the potential participant to decide whether:

  • NETL and the participant can define a project that will benefit both parties.
  • The needed resources are available to perform the envisioned work. The NETL Director makes the final decision about whether NETL will pursue a CRADA opportunity. No funds are transferred from NETL to the private sector participant so most regulations governing Federal procurements do not apply. As a result, CRADAs can usually be implemented quickly and with few complications.

Refer to model CRADAs for more information:

  • Simplified--combined contribution not to exceed $150,000 [ PDF-64KB ]
  • Standard--combined contribution exceeds $150,000 [ PDF-74KB ]

For more information on CRADAs, please contact Technology Transfer Office.