A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) is a written agreement between a private company and a government agency to cooperatively work on a project. Created as a result of federal legislation, 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.
The GI assists AFRL/RI staff by helping write and format the formal work plan, as well as the CRADA checklist. GI also discusses CRADA goals, objectives and commitments with all parties to ensure a common understanding. This facilitates final negotiations between the government representative (Office of Research and Technology Activities – ORTA) and the contractor company or companies involved.
A CRADA is an excellent technology transfer tool that:
- Provides incentives that help speed the commercialization of federally-developed technology
- Protects proprietary information brought to the CRADA effort by the partner
- Allows all parties to keep research results emerging from the CRADA confidential and free from disclosure through the Freedom of Information Act for up to 5 years
- Allows the government and the partner to share patents and patent licenses
- Permits one partner to retain exclusive rights to a patent or patent license
The invention disclosure process starts the first several steps toward a patent application. The process consists of completing several forms and submitting them for review, through channels, to the AFRL/RI Patent Attorney. Upon receipt of the completed forms and the internal review, the Patent Attorney submits either a formal patent application or an application for a provisional patent. A provisional patent application serves as a 12 month placeholder that protects inventors’ rights until a formal patent application is submitted and requires less descriptive information and formal claims for the invention.
- The GI assists AFRL/RI inventors by working closely with them to complete the required forms, and conducting preliminary “prior art” searches through the US Patent and Trade Mark Office resources or through other online Patent and Patent Application search tools. The GI technical writers can also work with inventors to develop the formal patent application descriptions.
The Griffiss Institute works closely with other organizations that support DoD Technology Transfer activities. This includes searching and finding opportunities to license AFRL owned intellectual properties. These intellectual properties can be IP that has been patented, has had patents applied for or, are AFRL developed inventions that have received no formal IP protection. Licensed IP brings revenue back to the creating organization and is shared generously with the actual technology developers.
A CTA is an agreement where a defense laboratory may make available to any person or entity, at an appropriate fee, the services of any government laboratory for the testing of materials, equipment, models, computer software, and other items. The GI will look for CTA clients and assist with the formalization of the CTA agreement.
- CTA performs tests that are confidential and may not be disclosed outside the Federal Government without the consent of the persons for whom the tests were performed
- CTA provides access to unique research and test support capabilities and facilities
Educational partnership agreements are formal agreements between the DOE (Department of Education) and DOD (Department of Defense) and an educational institution to transfer and/or enhance technology applications and provide technology assistance for all levels of education (pre-kindergarten and up). The AFRL can loan equipment, declare as surplus and transfer (donate) equipment, make laboratory personnel available to teach or assist in developing courses, involve faculty and students in research, etc. The Griffiss Institute incorporates funds through EPA’s to fund many educational programs such as the STEM initiatives that teach and encourage students to enter STEM careers.
- The GI is an active partner with the AFRL/RI in locating EPA candidates and formalizing the EP Agreements between the educational entity and the AFRL.