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Provides Opportunity for Increased Industry Research Partnerships

WASHINGTON, DC - On November 7, 2005, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued an interim final rule for the establishment of policies and procedures for a new "other transaction" authority.  This authority allows DOE to remove barriers to commercial firms' participation in some of DOE's research programs, thus increasing opportunities for government-industry partnerships and private sector investment in the advancement of new technology.

"This authority will increase and diversify the types of companies collaborating with the Department of Energy on scientific research," Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman said.  "Our hope is that this opportunity to work with a wider range of industry players will allow the government to bring new technologies to the marketplace cheaper and faster, which will benefit all Americans."  

The new authority implemented in this interim final rule provides DOE greater flexibility to negotiate specific provisions with industry partners in areas such as intellectual property, audits, and cost principles.  The use of this new authority will hopefully expand participation in DOE research, development and demonstration (RD&D) programs by commercial firms that deal primarily in the commercial marketplace.  In addition, increased private sector participation will help the government cultivate new relationships among stakeholders in the technology field, providing opportunities such as more consortium awards. 

DOE will implement this new regulation similarly to the Department of Defense (DOD) by awarding and administering Technology Investment Agreements (TIA's) for the support of research projects.  TIA's are a special type of financial assistance used to increase the involvement of commercial firms in RD&D programs. 

The "other transactions" authority was granted to the Secretary of Energy pursuant to Section 1007 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and is subject to the same terms and conditions as the other transaction authority granted to the Secretary of Defense.  This interim final rule will be published in the Federal Register today, November 15, 2005, with a 30 day period for public comment, and is effective 120 days after issuance.

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens, 202/586-4940