There are a variety of flexible ways to partner with the labs to access their unique capabilities and meet your needs.

Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)

Definition: Collaboration between lab and one or more partners outside the Federal government (usually from industry, nonprofit organizations, or academia, domestic or foreign) collaborate and share the results of a jointly conducted research and development project.
Cost: Lab and Participant may share costs or Participant pays 100% funds-in
Estimated Timeline*: One month

  • Leverage and optimize your resources
  • Share technical expertise in a protected environment
  • Option to obtain license to the lab
  • CRADA-generated intellectual property on agreed-upon terms and conditions
  • 5-year data protection
  • Each partner may take title to its own CRADA-generated intellectual property

Agreements for Commercializing Technology (ACT)

Definition: Labs partner with non-federal entities to complete a project using highly specialized or unique DOE facilities, services or technical expertise.
Cost: Participant pays full cost recovery plus additional negotiated compensation to the Contractor
Estimated Timeline*: One month

  • Flexible terms for your IP, indemnity, adv. payment
  • Optional performance guarantee
  • Negotiable IP terms
  • Option for limited Gov. R&D license

Strategic Partnership Projects (SPP) Formerly known as Work-for-Others

Definition: Labs conduct work for non-DOE entities (such as industry, small businesses or other federal agencies) and may utilize DOE facilities.
Cost: Participant pays full cost of the lab’s effort
Estimated Timeline*: One month

  • Access to unique facilities, services, and/or technical expertise
  • Flexible terms for your IP and licensing rights

User Facility Agreements (UFAs)

Definition: User may access facilities, specialized equipment, instrumentation, and/or personnel, etc., to conduct proprietary or non-proprietary research.
Cost: User pays approved user rate or each party covers its own cost
Estimated Timeline*: 2 weeks

  • Generated data treated as proprietary (if proprietary UFA)
  • Access to unique facilities and equipment to validate or improve your technology

Technical Service Agreements

Definition: Lab staff provide short term technical assistance to organizations with technical problems requiring expertise that is not available commercially.
Cost: Participant pays full cost of the labs effort
Estimated Timeline*: 5-10 ;business days

  • Access to lab scientists and engineers expertise


Definition: Companies acquire intellectual property rights (such as patents, copyrights, trademarks, etc.) to commercialize technology developed by the lab.
Cost: Payment (in the form of issue fees, royalties on sales, equity in company, etc.) is non-refundable and provided by the licensee
Estimated Timeline*: One month or more depending on the license

  • Leverage cutting-edge inventions to drive your technology commercialization
  • Licenses may be nonexclusive or exclusive
  • Opportunity available to small and large businesses

Note that this list doesn’t capture all partnering mechanisms and there might be differences between each of the laboratories. Please contact the laboratory that you are interested in partnering with for additional information.

*The exact timeline for completing agreements is determined on a case-by-cases basis (the estimated timelines above reflect time to complete agreements after the statement of work and funding have been agreed upon). Agreements with non-U.S. entities take longer.

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