TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND PARTNERING:
Technology transfer is the process by which knowledge, facilities, or capabilities developed by federal laboratories are used to fulfill public and private needs. The purpose of technology transfer is to strengthen the nation's economy by accelerating the application of federal laboratory technology and resources to public and private sector needs and opportunities.
As a result of technology transfer, research products originally developed for use by the Army are finding widespread use throughout the private sector. Their use has resulted in product improvement, service efficiencies, improved manufacturing processes, and the development of major new products to increase productivity. The manufacturing of government-developed products by the private sector ensures their availability not only for public use, but for government procurement as well.
The following mechanisms may be used to allow the Corps to provide assistance to U.S. firms:
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENT (TAA)
[33 USC § 2314a] : Provides technical assistance on a nonexclusive basis to assist U.S. firms to compete for or perform contracts for work outside the U.S. TAAs enhance the competitiveness of U.S. firms abroad by making available the technical and scientific expertise and technical resources of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) laboratories, districts, and divisions.
[33 USC § 2323]: Provides the authority for private entities operating within the United States to utilize USACE laboratories for research and development activities.
COOPERATIVE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT (CRADA)
[15 USC § 3710a, et seq]: An agreement between a federal laboratory and one or more nonfederal parties. The government, through the laboratory, provides personnel, facilities, equipment, or other resources to the nonfederal parties. Federal laboratories can be reimbursed by the nonfederal parties but cannot provide funds to the nonfederal parties. The nonfederal parties can provide funds, personnel, facilities, equipment, or other resources to conduct specific research and development. Rights to intellectual property are negotiated as part of the CRADA.
PATENT LICENSE AGREEMENT (PLA)
[37 CFR § 404]: The transfer of less-than-ownership rights in federal intellectual property to a third party, to permit the third party to use the intellectual property. PLAs can be exclusive or nonexclusive for a specific field of use or geographical area. Licensees develop plans for commercialization of the invention.
GRANTS, COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS, AND OTHER TRANSACTIONS
[10 USC § 2358, 10 USC § 2371, 31 USC § 6305, 10 USC § 2361]: Legal instruments under which a government agency can carry out certain activities that cannot be more properly executed under other, more appropriate agreements.
INTERGOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION ACTION
[31 USC § 6505]: An agreement initiated by a state or local government agency for support that is not reasonably and expeditiously available through normal private-sector business channels. This assistance may only be provided with in-house government personnel, no contracting is authorized. Section 211 of the Water Resources Development Act restricted USACE to providing assistance only where USACE is uniquely equipped to provide the services. USACE laboratories are exempt from this restriction.
EDUCATIONAL PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT
[10 USC § 2194]: An agreement under which a Defense laboratory works with an educational institution to encourage and enhance study in scientific disciplines at all levels of education.
[FAR 16.303]: A cost-sharing contract in which the contractor receives no fee and bears some of the risk of cost overruns by agreeing to pay a predetermined portion of its allowable costs. Appropriate where the contractor is expected to receive a significant commercial benefit from performance of the contract.
TEST AND EVALUATION AGREEMENT
[10 USC § 2539b]: As DOD laboratories, USACE R&D labs have the authority through 10 USC 2539b to sell, test, and evaluate services to the states and the private sector. This includes the testing and evaluation of materials, equipment, models, computer software, and other items for a fee. For example, we can "rent" our unique testing facilities and "sell" test evaluation and data analysis services. Consistent with the U.S. Government's policy of relying on the private sector, USACE R&D laboratories are prohibited from competing with the private sector in providing test and evaluation services. Services by the USACE labs may be offered on a cost reimbursable basis when these services are not reasonably and expeditiously available within the private sector.
MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT(MOA)
Allows support to other federal agencies and state, local, territorial or Indian Nations governments within the United States. The MOA establishes the framework for a mutual relationship and provides a concise description of the type of assistance each of the parties will supply.
SMALL BUSINESS INNOVATION RESEARCH (SBIR) PROGRAM
Federally funded program to promote small business participation in government programs. Small businesses will propose Phase One concepts for development with federal funding limited to $100,000. Federal funding under Phase Two is limited to $750,000 for further development of the new technology. The private sector absorbs Phase Three funding involving commercial applications of the technology developed. The small business partner may obtain title to inventions.
Private firms may submit proposals at any time. If the proposal fits the mission and funds are available, normal contracting procedures will be employed to create a contract.
SUPPORT CENTER ARRANGEMENTS
Support Army and civilian architects/engineers in the use of products developed by USACE researchers on military facilities.