The Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) program is the primary tool linking government and industry researchers in cooperative research work. This program, authorized under the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986, allows federal laboratories and businesses to form partnerships that help develop and move new technologies to the market. ARS scientists and companies work together to develop a research plan consistent with the company’s and agency's mission. Under a CRADA, ARS scientists collaborate with businesses to help develop new technologies. A CRADA allows a company the first right to negotiate an exclusive license to any inventions that is developed and owned or co-owned by the government under the agreement.
The objective of the CRADA is to expedite federal research activities and expertise to the private sector in order to enhance global and domestic competitiveness.