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Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)

Under the Legal Authority 15 U.S.C. 3710a, as amended, the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement Programs and NIST Order 5004.00 Partnership Agreement, The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) actively seeks opportunities to participate in cooperative research and development programs generally with non-federal entities, particularly U.S. Industry partners (Collaborators). Cooperative research programs are formalized under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA. A CRADA must be compatible with the NIST mission; present no conflict of interest for NIST or its research project staff; and be acceptable to NIST approval authorities.

Research work under a CRADA may be performed at NIST, at the laboratory of the non-federal Collaborator(s), or at both institutions. Work is usually supported by contributions from all partners in the CRADA. NIST contributions to the CRADA can take the form of personnel, facilities, equipment, and other resources, but NIST cannot provide funds to the other Collaborator(s). Collaborator(s) contributions can take the form of funds, personnel, facilities, equipment, and other resources. Funds to support NIST's activities under a CRADA can come in whole or in part from the Collaborator.

Proprietary information provided to NIST and information generated under the project (protected CRADA information) may be protected from disclosure for up to five years. Each party may take title to intellectual property (IP) created or invented by its employees.

Under the CRADA, the Collaborator is granted the first option to take a license, on reasonable commercial terms, for any inventions made by NIST inventors/researchers or made jointly by NIST and the Collaborator’s inventors/researchers during the research program. Commercial products resulting from CRADA-developed intellectual property must be substantially manufactured in the United States.

Implementation of each CRADA is administered by NIST’s Technology Partnerships Office (TPO). Each CRADA must be approved by NIST before implementation.

Created September 24, 2009, Updated October 6, 2023