Chapter 53. Cooperative R&D Agreements (CRADAs)

Paul Olk

University of Denver

CRADAs, or cooperative research and development agreements, emerged in the U.S. in the 1980s as part of an effort to enhance country competitiveness and the social benefits received from publicly-funded research. Similar to the efforts surrounding university licensing (see Chapter 54), CRADAs developed from legislation designed to encourage collaborative research. The Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986, passed by the U.S. Congress, provided incentives for government-owned and government-operated laboratories (GOGOs) to commercialize inventions. The follow-up legislation, the National Competitiveness Act of 1989, extended these policies to government-owned and contractor-operated laboratories (GOCOs).

The purpose behind these legislations was to encourage the transfer of Technology developed in a GOGO or GOCO federal laboratory to private-sector firms. Many of the U.S. Federal Government departments (e.g., Department of Defense, Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture) have dedicated research laboratories. Prior to these legislations, most research conducted in these laboratories helped the agency's agenda but there was limited effort devoted towards commercialization. According to Adams, Chiang, and Jensen (2003), the push for technology transfer of laboratory research stemmed from three related reasons. The first is that with the decline in the Soviet Union and the reduced need for a strong ...

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