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About OTT
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About OTT

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has been delegated authority by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to administer the patent program for ARS and administer technology licensing programs for all intramural research conducted by USDA. These activities are housed in the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT).

The ARS technology transfer program has centralized policy and approval procedures that are managed by OTT. Research agreement negotiation and implementation is decentralized and managed by the ARS Area Offices. The Area Office's Technology Transfer Staff serve as liaisons with scientists, ARS managers, OTT, industry, nonprofit organizations including universities, other Federal agencies, state and local governments and appropriate foreign entities.

To facilitate technology transfer, OTT is organized into three sections.


Coordinates technology transfer policy development; executes collaborative research agreements; and facilitates public-private partnerships.


Provides strategic guidance to USDA scientists regarding patent protection for their research results; receives invention reports; convenes three National Patent Committees (Mechanical and Measurement, Life Sciences, and Chemistry); prepares and prosecutes patent applications and plant variety protection applications; and reviews patent legal work performed by cooperator and ARS contract law firm.


Manages invention licensing from all the intramural scientists in every USDA agency. This includes the review of license applications and the negotiation and monitoring of license agreements to assure compliance with agreement terms. This section also collects and disburses license revenues, manages international patent filings, and provides expert advice on all matters related to USDA invention licensing. 

Technology Transfer Annual Reports:  Click here to view. 

Federal Technology Transfer Legislation and Policy:  More commonly known as The Green Book, provides the principal statutory and executive branch policies that constitute the framework of the federal technology transfer program.

OTT Assistant Administrator

Brian Nakanishi