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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

What is a CRADA
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  • A CRADA is an official document that provides for cooperative research, licensing of patents made under the CRADA, and the transfer of a technology from ARS to another party or from another party to ARS.
  • All parties to the CRADA must have a mutual interest in the CRADA's objectives, and they must contribute resources toward accomplishment of those objectives.
  • The CRADA provides for maintaining confidentiality regarding proprietary information and data.
  • Inventions arising under the CRADA that are owned by ARS or co-owned by ARS are offered to the Cooperator for exclusive licensing on a right of first refusal basis.
  • CRADAs are an implementation of the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-502).

In carrying out a CRADA, ARS scientists are authorized to work as closely as necessary with private firms to help the companies commercialize technology based on the scientists' research. Under a CRADA, the cooperator may provide funds to ARS. As with other ARS cooperative agreements, ARS enters into a CRADA only when the objective is in keeping with the agency's mission.

ARS policy is to take full advantage of the Technology Transfer Act and Executive Order 12591, which charged agencies with expeditiously implementing the Technology Transfer Act. While the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) provides guidance and assistance, scientists are key to fulfilling this policy. The scientist is responsible for getting the research used as well as done.

Scientists should seek opportunities for CRADAs with industry that involve work that is consistent with the ARS mission, do not involve a conflict of interest, and when all potential cooperators have been given a fair chance to participate.

Reference: Policies and Procedures 141.2 Technology Transfer in ARS

Last Modified: 8/13/2016
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