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  1. Science and Technology
  2. Work with S&T
  3. Technology Transfer and Commercialization Program
  4. Cooperative Research and Development Agreements

Cooperative Research & Development Agreements

A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) is a written agreement that facilitates research and development (R&D) collaboration between one or more federal laboratories and one or more non-federal entities. Both parties to a CRADA may provide personnel, facilities, equipment or other resources, but the government may not provide funding to non-federal entities under a CRADA.

CRADAs are authorized by 15 USC § 3710a.

CRADAs assist DHS by facilitating collaboration with other entities to leverage the expertise and resources of both parties. The CRADA program assists program managers (PMs) across DHS in establishing CRADAs to support the development and delivery of technology solutions to homeland security end users. The CRADA program works with PMs and DHS legal staff to refine CRADA statements of work and negotiate terms and conditions with CRADA partners.

CRADAs provide an easy way to collaborate with DHS S&T programs, laboratories, and or components. CRADAs enable DHS researchers to exchange technical expertise with non-federal partners and protect the rights of both parties to inventions that may result from the collaboration.

CRADAs must involve at least one non-federal party. In addition to DHS scientists, the other participants in a CRADA may be one or more of the following:

  • Private corporations (U.S. or foreign)
  • Nonprofit and not-for-profit institutions (U.S. or foreign)
  • State and local governments (U.S.)
  • Individuals (U.S. or foreign)

CRADAs provide DHS and collaborating partners the opportunity to engage in joint R&D efforts and offer the following benefits:

  • Ease of entering into arrangements with DHS to engage in R&D activities
  • Access to DHS laboratories' expertise, capabilities, and technologies to foster innovation and improve the Unites States' economic, environmental, and social well-being
  • New products, processes, and intellectual property (IP) applicable to DHS mission and commercial goals
  • Access to IP resulting from the CRADA effort
  • Reduced costs, time, and risk of R&D to achieve DHS mission and/or commercial goals by leveraging external expertise, ideas, investment, and resources
  • Joint approaches to solving specific problems by applying different cultural solutions.

  • DHS retains irrevocable, royalty-free rights to all CRADA subject inventions for government use
  • The non-federal collaborating partner may contribute personnel, services, facilities, equipment, intellectual property, and funds
  • DHS laboratories or components may contribute personnel, services, facilities, equipment, and intellectual property, but may not contribute funds
  • The principal investigator or technical point of contact from each party will lead and direct CRADA research activities

DHS CRADAs support the following collaborative activities that span the R&D lifecycle and increase technology transfer and commercialization readiness for the following:

  • Basic research
  • Concept ideation
  • Prototype development
  • Testing and evaluation
  • Technology demonstrations, assessments and pilot deployments
  • Adaptation of commercial products for government use in DHS mission applications

  1. Image
    Gamma Radiation Sensor at Grand Central Terminal in New York City.
    Shortly after September 11, 2001, the concept of a city-wide response and recovery system for a radiation emergency was created and put into action. DHS S&T’s National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL) developed the initial concept for the Radiological Emergency Management System (REMS), a post-event gamma radiation sensor network designed for response and recovery after a release of radiation in an urban area, whether accidental or deliberate. NUSTL developed the Radiological Emergency Management System (REM) through a CRADA with a major instrument manufacturer and later turned the concept into a commercial product. Following a six-year pilot project, the REMS sensors were manufactured and installed on buildings throughout New York City, including Grand Central Terminal where an average of 750,000 people pass through every day.
  2. The influx of illicit synthetic opioids to the U.S. threatens the health and well-being of our communities and frontline workers. To address the trafficking of opioids through international mail, DHS S&T partnered with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and DHS Customs and Border Protection to launch the Opioid Detection Challenge, which called on innovators to develop technologies that detect illicit opioids in packages. In 2019, S&T established CRADAs with eight challenge finalists to test and assess the ability of their prototypes to detect a fentanyl simulant in a variety of test packages. This live test event was conducted at S&T’s Transportation Security Laboratory and resulted in a grand prize-winning detection solution and several strong runners-up. S&T plans to continue working with providers of the most promising solutions to advance prototypes and support operational pilots for the technologies.

DHS may choose to advertise a CRADA opportunity when interested parties are unknown or the technology/project is such that competition is in the best interests of the government and the public. An announcement may be added below.

There are no CRADA opportunities with DHS at this time.

DHS Cooperative Research and Development Agreements at CRADA@hq.dhs.gov

Last Updated: 09/05/2023
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