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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Cooperative Research and Development Agreements


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.




Material Transfer Agreements

Scientist uses Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) when there is a need to transfer material (provide to or receive from) to an organization outside ARS. MTAs are used to maintain control over the material, and avoid public disclosure.

An MTA agreement states specifically what the material is, what it can be used for, restricts giving it to a third party without permission, and prohibits commercial use. All MTAs must be reviewed and signed by an ARS Technology Transfer Coordinator (TTC).




Confidentiality Agreements

In many cases, it is necessary for ARS to share certain confidential information with a company to determine if there is sufficient mutual interest to proceed with some type of collaboration. A Confidentiality Agreement (CA) is used to ensure that a company will not disclose or use in any other purpose than determining if there is sufficient mutual interest in collaboration at some level.

In most cases, a Confidentiality Agreement with a company can be entered into by the ARS scientist and the respective company official. In other cases, it may be necessary for the ARS Technology Transfer Coordinator or other Office of Technology Transfer official to review the CA.


Memorandums of Understanding


To find out more information on Memorandums of Understanding (MOU), please visit the website



Trust Fund and Reimbursable Cooperative Agreements


To find out more information on Trust Fund and Reimbursable Cooperative Agreements, please visit the website






Agreement Templates

Confidentiality Agreement for ARS Providing Information -- Outgoing Information               

Confidentiality Agreement for ARS Receiving Information -- Incoming Information                  

Confidentiality Agreement -- Exchanging Information                                                  

Material Transfer Agreement -- Incoming Material MTA In.doc                 

Material Transfer Agreement -- Outgoing Material MTA Out.doc              

Material Transfer Agreement -- Exchanging Material MTA-Exchange.doc

Last Modified: 2/7/2013