Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)

    A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) is a written agreement between a private company and a government agency to work together on a project. Created as a result of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, as amended by the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986, a CRADA allows the Federal government and non-Federal partners to optimize their resources, share technical expertise in a protected environment, share intellectual property emerging from the effort, and speed the commercialization of federally developed technology.

    A CRADA is an excellent technology transfer tool. It can:

    • Provide incentives that help speed the commercialization of federally-developed technology.
    • Protect any proprietary information brought to the CRADA effort by the partner.
    • Allow all parties to the CRADA to keep research results emerging from the CRADA confidential and free from disclosure through the Freedom of Information Act for up to 5 years.
    • Allow the government and the partner to share patents and patent licenses.
    • Permit one partner to retain exclusive rights to a patent or patent license.