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About Medical Technology Transfer


Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)

  • The preferred vehicle used to transfer technology is a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA). A CRADA provides a great opportunity for the Army investigators to collaborate with scientists in industry and academia to attain a common research goal. CRADAs, have the greatest potential for long-term payoff of any technology transfer mechanism. They allow Army scientists to better understand the technology needs of the commercial sector and facilitate a reverse flow of ideas, resources, and funds into the laboratories, and are the linchpins of the Command's technology transfer program.
  • A CRADA is an agreement between a federal laboratory and one or more non-federal (or sometimes federal) parties. Under a CRADA, the federal laboratory can provide personnel, services, facilities, equipment, and other resources to the other party, but no funding. In contrast, the non-federal party may provide funds, personnel, services, facilities, equipment, or other resources toward the conduct of specified research or development efforts within the laboratory, consistent with its mission.
  • A CRADA also provides the partner with an option to exclusively license inventions made by the Army investigator under the agreement.
  • Intellectual property (IP) rights in existence prior to a collaboration are retained by the provider, while any rights to newly created IP are negotiated on a case-by-case basis subject to applicable law and regulation.

Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs)

  • A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) and a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement for Material Transfer (CRADA-MT) are short agreements in which scientists can exchange materials/information. As opposed to a full CRADA discussed earlier which is bi-directional in nature, an MTA is unidirectional and no collaboration is contemplated.
  • Scientists receive or provide materials for completion of a particular experiment or research study. In most instances, the providing party may require that the results of the study be communicated back to them. These agreements may also be used to request special immunization for personnel that would be working at the Army or are affiliated with the Institute.

Patent License Agreements (PLA)

  • Patent License Agreement (PLA) - is a contractual agreement between the licensor (IP owner) and a licensee to assign, grant, and convey either the whole patent, comprising the exclusive/nonexclusive rights to make, use, develop, and vend the invention throughout the U.S. & abroad in exchange for royalties.
  • Attributes:
    • U.S. industry/small businesses preferred
    • Can be exclusive, nonexclusive (preferred), for specific field of use, or a specific geographic area
    • Substantial royalties return to the laboratory
    • Licensee must present plans to commercialize the invention
    • Government obtains a nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide license
    • Subject to conflict-of-interest rules
  • Royalties:
    • The inventor receives the first $2,000 and 20% thereafter up to $150,000/year of any royalties/payments resulting from commercial licensure. The USAMRMC laboratory receives the residual income, which can be used by the Commander to do any of the following:
      • Reward laboratory employees, including inventors of technology regardless of whether it has commercial application
      • Fund research projects within the institute
      • Further scientific exchange among laboratories
      • Educate and train laboratory employees
      • Pay the expenses incidental to the administration and licensing of inventions
      • Support technology transfer marketing activities

Interagency Agreement

  • Interagency Agreements (IAA), Service Agreements (SA), Memorandum of Agreements (MOA), Memorandum of Understandings (MOU)- These agreements allow two or more federal agencies to exchange information, personnel, equipment, material, resources, and funds.


This Web site provides an introduction to the Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA) and contains official Government information.

Its use is intended for members of the general public, news media and Military Health System beneficiaries.

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