DISA Ft. Meade, MD Headquarters


This information is intended to provide internal and external audiences with information to determine if technology transfer is appropriate to address your research and technology objectives. The processes described below apply to standard, unclassified Technology Transfer (T2) agreements. Nonstandard agreements involving classified, Military Critical Technologies, Foreign Owned Controlling Interest (FOCI), technology brokers, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), or venture capitalist require additional due diligence by the ORTA and coordination for reviews and approval.

What is a CRADA?

A CRADA is a key technology transfer mechanism for removing barriers to collaboration, obtaining long-term value, and high returns on R&D investments. This type of agreement is proven to have tremendous potential for leveraging resources to further necessary research. Title 15 U.S.C. 3710 gives DISA the authority to enter into CRADAs to foster collaborative relationships with industry, academia, local and state governments, and with other federal agencies to attain technology research goals and benefits.

CRADA Benefits

CRADAs provide DISA and collaborating partners the opportunity to engage in joint research and development efforts that result in the following benefits:

  • Ease of entering into arrangements with the U.S. Government to engage in R&D activities
  • Providing access to U.S. Federal laboratories' expertise, capabilities, and technologies to foster innovation and improve the Unites States' economic environmental, and social well-being
  • Creating new products, processes, and intellectual property (IP) applicable to mission and commercial goals
  • Reducing costs, time, and risk of R&D to achieve mission and/or commercial goals by leveraging external expertise, ideas, investment, and resources
  • Providing a joint approach to solving specific problems by applying different cultural solutions
  • Modifying commercial products for government use in mission applications

CRADA Characteristics

  • Flexible mechanism that remove barriers to collaboration with the private sector without Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) selection criteria
  • Must have an approved joint statement of work (SOW) describing the scope, objectives, planned tasks of research and development efforts, measurable outcomes, and deliverables
  • Is not subject to FAR terms and conditions
  • Defines the legal and business framework for the management and execution of each CRADA
  • Contains provisions for a variety of intellectual property issues including data rights, property ownership, and the allocation of rights to existing and future inventions and/or intellectual property
  • Is considered a legal agreement, not a contracting instrument, grant, or cooperative agreement

CRADA Provisions

  • The U.S. Government retains irrevocable, royalty-free rights for government use
  • The collaborating partner can contribute personnel, services, facilities, equipment, intellectual property, and funds
  • The U.S Government can contribute personnel, services, facilities, equipment, intellectual property but cannot contribute funds
  • The principal investigator from each party will lead and direct CRADA research activities

Guidelines for Entering into a DISA CRADA

  • Must be sponsored by DISA Government personnel with their management’s approval
  • Must support DISA mission goals and objectives
  • Priority is given to small businesses and businesses that agree to substantially manufacture in the United States
  • Research and development effort should benefit both parties
  • Either party can unilaterally terminate
  • Work may be performed at DISA facilities or the CRADA partner’s facilities
  • Success criteria, metrics, and performance measures must be defined up front
  • Both parties must commit time, resources, people, and effort to ensure success of the CRADA objectives
  • Term of the CRADA may be for three (3) years and renewable for two additional years with justification
  • Provides for the protection of commercially-viable information for five years
  • Both parties must provide periodic reviews on technical progress and research outcomes


The Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) process is broken into seven phases allowing for a timely effective facilitation to develop and ratify the CRADA within 70 workdays.

  • Prior to contacting ORTA to initiate the CRADA, the DISA Sponsoring Organization will define, possibly in collaboration with a potential CRADA partner, the CRADA scope, objectives, and deliverables
  • The DISA Sponsoring Organization will submit the CRADA objectives to the DISA ORTA via a Technology Transfer Request form and request the ORTA initiate a CRADA
  • The ORTA will forward the Principal Investigator Checklist, CRADA Information Sheet, and DISA CRADA SOP to the DISA Sponsoring Organization
  • In conjunction with the potential CRADA Partner, the principal DISA investigator will complete the CRADA documents and return them to the ORTA.
  • The ORTA will work closely with the principal DISA investigator to develop the preliminary draft CRADA and related appendices, including the Statement of Work (SOW). The ORTA will also coordinate the internal review by the CRADA team, consisting of DISA Security, the Office of the General Counsel (OGC), the ORTA, and the principal DISA investigator and their management
  • Upon completion of the initial review and feedback, the ORTA will create a final draft of the CRADA for review by the DISA CRADA team and CRADA Partner
  • Using the parameters from the sponsoring organization, CTO, and the OGC, the DISA ORTA will facilitate the negotiations and administration of the agreement until it is ratified
  • Once the CRADA is signed, both parties may begin collaborative efforts
  • The principal DISA investigator will provide biannual status updates on the performance of the CRADA and IP status reports.
  • Upon completion of the CRADA, the principal DISA investigator will provide a final report on the research outcome

The ORTA monitors the CRADA process for continuous improvement to identify improvement opportunities and ensure quality T2 service.