Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)
LANL staff partners with industry, academia, and/or nonprofit organizations to pursue advanced R&D activities and possible commercialization.
- Jerome Garcia
- (505) 665-4842
What is a CRADA?
A cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) is an agreement that allows Laboratory staff to work with partners from industry, academia, and/or nonprofit organizations to pursue advanced research and development activities and possible commercialization of intellectual property by the CRADA participant. A CRADA can be an excellent tool to help the Laboratory meet its programmatic goals and mission.
A CRADA also is an excellent mechanism to help Laboratory partners achieve technology developments that might otherwise be impossible to achieve if restricted to the commercial world. U.S. economic competitiveness is enhanced greatly by interactions between the national laboratories and private industry.
Why get involved in CRADA activity?
- Many federal sponsors, such as the Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Fossil Energy, require that a certain percentage of their funds be used in collaborative research.
- Programmatic funds can be extended as a result of the cost-shared relationship between the Lab and the participant; a collaborative partner also may elect to fully fund an activity.
- Engaging in technical collaborations with peers from industry or academia enhances intellectual stimulation.
- Collaborations with industry can provide real-world validation of scientific tests and hypotheses.
- The Laboratory retains a nonexclusive, royalty-free, irrevocable government use license to every subject invention produced under a CRADA.
Currently working under a CRADA?
Don’t forget the following:
- Understand one’s obligations under the CRADA; it is a legally-binding contract.
- Regular communication with the partner is essential for all successful collaborations.
- Keep a separate, bound notebook for each CRADA—this allows the Lab to demonstrate achievements in deliverables under the agreement. It also documents clearly the development of intellectual property.
- Think carefully before publishing or otherwise disclosing CRADA information.
- A CRADA may contain proprietary information that must not be disclosed; patent rights risk being forfeited through premature disclosure.
- Perform only those tasks included in the statement of work.
- Allocate only funds from the specified program code for the CRADA work.
Keys to successful CRADA implementation:
- Plan ahead—the CRADA negotiation will be extremely rewarding in the long term, but it will add time to the start of a project.
- Communicate early with Lab and industry technology-transfer staff responsible for coordinating overall activity.
- Establish agreement among all parties on funding levels and sources before starting the CRADA process.
- Keep in mind that negotiations deal with several important factors including ownership and intellectual property, product liability and indemnification and hold-harmless clauses, and U.S. manufacture and competitiveness.
- Researchers who anticipate subcontracting any CRADA tasks, or using any non-Laboratory employees to perform such tasks, must contact a Technology Transfer CRADA specialist before proceeding.