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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Administration & Partnership
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The Administrative Section conducts day-to-day operations, coordinates technology transfer policy development, and executes Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), patents, and licenses.

Partnership Section

Agricultural Research Partnerships (ARP) Network

USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) founded the ARP Network in an effort to expand the impact of ARS research and provide resources to help ARS commercial partners grow.

ARS research results can provide economic and other opportunities for rural citizens, communities, and society as a whole. The combination of ARS research expertise and complementary capabilities of the ARP Network members helps to stimulate economic growth through technological advancements. The ARP Network matches business needs with ARS innovations and research capabilities and provides business assistant services to help companies and startups solve agricultural problems, develop products and create new jobs. The Network will assist ARS in creating new partnerships and in supporting existing partnerships to advance ARS research and development (R&D) and subsequent utilization, including commercialization.

Some of the ARP Network activities include:

·         Delivering research results to stakeholders

·         Matching industry needs with ARS patents and researchers for partnering

·         Providing access to ARS research expertise, facilities and equipment

·         Assisting in identifying sources of funding

·         Providing mentoring in business and manufacturing problem solving

·         Furnishing marketing assessments and business plan development assistance

·         Providing networking opportunities with other organizations

·         Coordinating events to facilitate private-public partnerships

 

The ARP Network is composed of organizations interested in agriculture-based economic development such as, but not limited to: other Federal agencies; urban, community and/or economic development groups; rural agribusiness; organizations that support farmers, agritourism and/or food processors; and capital programs for business attraction and acceleration.

A copy of the ARP network brochure can be found here. For more information contact:

Technology Transfer Agreements

Agreements with outside organizations, whether public or private, produce many direct benefits. They allow research scientists to obtain expertise, proprietary products, and information that would not otherwise be available to them. The selection of the type of agreement to use is important. It is not just a matter of choice, but often a matter of law, regulation, or policy. Different situations require specific types of agreements and actions.  ARS has a number of technology transfer agreements, such as, but not limited to, the following:

·         Confidentiality Agreement (CA) 

·         Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)

·         Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)

·         Material Transfer Research Agreement (MTRA)

 

Confidentiality Agreement (CA)

A CA, sometimes referred to as Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) perform several functions. A CA permits parties to exchange confidential information and data in order to determine whether they would like to enter into a research collaboration or license agreement. The signatories of a CA agree to not disclose technical information received from the other party.

In- Confidentiality Agreement For ARS Receiving Information

Out- Confidentiality Agreement For ARS Providing Information

Exchange- Confidentiality Agreement For Exchange of Information

Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)

A MTA is a type of confidentiality agreement that governs the transfer of research materials between two organizations.  The MTA does not transfer ownership – the materials are merely lent to the receiving scientist and the MTA sets forth the conditions of the loan by defining the rights of the provider and recipient with respect to the materials and any derivatives, as well as the purposes to which the material may be put.   Biological materials, such as reagents, cell lines, plasmids, and vectors, are the most frequently transferred materials, but MTAs may also be used for other types of materials, such as chemical compounds and even some types of data sets and software.

In- Incoming Material Transfer Agreement

Out- Outgoing Material Transfer Agreement

Exchange- Exchanging Material Transfer Agreement

Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)

The CRADA is a joint research effort with at least one non-Federal partner that has some degree of research capacity and which commits funds and/or in-kind resources to a collaborative effort with an ARS scientist.  The CRADA project is generally intended to create or optimize a commercial product, and it usually contemplates creating, securing, and licensing intellectual property related to the research effort.  A CRADA partner may be an individual company, a group of companies, an association, a university, or any combination of the preceding.  It may also include another Federal agency, but only if there is an additional partner which is not a Federal agency.   The ARS actively seeks CRADAs with small and/or minority-owned businesses.  There is no requirement to “compete” for CRADAs – ARS is free to choose any CRADA partner that meets the technology transfer needs of one of its in-house research projects.

CRADA

MTA CRADA

CRADAs benefit the ARS by:

·         Augmenting resources available to ARS scientists

·         Increasing the likelihood of licensing an ARS technology and thereby showing impact

·         Increasing impact and Agency reputation by becoming highly relevant to individual  stakeholders

·         Contributing to economic development through new product development and perhaps job-creation at companies using the program to help build their businesses

 

CRADAs benefit the partner by:  

·         Providing confidential access to ARS research capacity which can lead to competitive advantages

·         Providing access to ARS patent prosecution capacity

·         Providing a source of new, patent-protected commercial products

·         Providing the opportunity to negotiate for an exclusive patent license without giving notice in the Federal Register (and thereby inviting additional and perhaps competing license applications)

·         Providing access to the ARS network which often leads to additional business opportunities to include access to global markets 

 

Material Transfer Research Agreements (MTRA)

MTAs only allow the transfer of materials, but not engagement in joint research between the provider and the recipient of the materials.  This new agreement will serve as the authorization to conduct some joint research on the materials transferred.  Because this instrument would not convey rights to negotiate exclusive licenses to any intellectual property arising from the research, it is intended as an early stage opportunity for proof of concept that may lead to more extensive research that would be conducted under a CRADA. The MTRA was created by combining the MTA and the TFCA authorities.

MTRA

Mojdeh Bahar
Assistant Administrator
Mojdeh.Bahar@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-6905
Fax: (301) 504-5060

Dr. Robert Griesbach
Deputy Assistant Administrator
Robert.Griesbach@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-6905
Fax: (301) 504-5060

Kate Baker
Management Analyst
Kate.Baker@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-6905
Fax: (301) 504-5060

Melissa Repoza
Program Support Assistant
Melissa.Repoza@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-6905
Fax: (301) 504-5060

Cathleen Cohn
Tech Transfer Liaison 
Cathleen.Cohn@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-4523
Fax: (301) 504-5060

Thomas Moreland
Partnership Liaison 
Tom.Moreland@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-4838
Fax: (301) 504-5060


Last Modified: 8/5/2014
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