Technology Transfers: Benefits of Cooperative R&D Agreements.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC RESOURCES COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVE LOPMENT DIV
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Technology transfer between federal laboratories and industry is increasingly viewed as a significant factor in the economic growth and well-being of the United States. Cooperative Research and Development Agreements CRADAS are one of several mechanisms whereby federal laboratories and private industry collaborate on research and development RD. CRADAS define the terms and conditions of the collaboration. You asked us to review the role of CRADAS in successfully transferring technology to the private sector. Subsequently, we agreed with your office to develop a series of case studies that highlight the benefits of engaging in such collaborations at the Departments of Agriculture, Army, Commerce, and Health and Human Services. We did not attempt to assess the costs of these collaborations. While all CRADAS may not achieve the same level of benefits, both the federal agencies and private companies we reviewed benefited from the collaborations. Specifically, we identified the following The CRADAS offered opportunities for federal laboratories and industry to collaborate on research while meeting their missions. Technology from federal laboratories was transferred to the private sector, resulting in commercial products. RD programs were advanced. The sharing of resources aided federal laboratories and private companies in accomplishing the CRADAs objectives. In addition, some of the CRADAs demonstrated a potential for long-term improvements to our nations economy, health, and environment.
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