Member Benefits: Expertise Transfer
The primary benefit of members in the nSoft consortium is a chance to transfer world leading expertise in neutron-based characterization of soft materials. Rather than develop intellectual property for members, this unique model seeks to develop expertise for a member institution and then provide access to a world leading resource to advance the competitiveness of US based industry and manufacturing. As a result of the emphasis on expertise transfer, the member contract stipulates that the research program is entirely non-proprietary, and research executed within the consortium is led by and entirely under the control of NIST. This non-proprietary environment greatly simplifies interactions between private and public entities, but also keeps the focus of the consortium on training and building NIST equipment that serves the highest and broadest impact within industrial sectors. To keep that focus, and to preserve a balance of access and availability of resources, the consortium member contract (in the form of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA) stipulates a maximum of 40 for-profit institutions and 15 not-for-profit institutions on a first come, first served basis.