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Cooperative Research and Development Agreements

The U.S. Congress established Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) to help facilitate the timely transfer of technology from government laboratories, such as DMEA, to:

  • the private sector
  • other government agencies, both state and federal
  • academia.

A convenient, flexible, and powerful vehicle, CRADAs allows access to DMEA’s extensive microelectronics capabilities, including its highly skilled workforce and laboratory.

CRADAs have some special characteristics which, for certain efforts, can be very attractive to potential partners, including:

  • A CRADA can usually be established quickly, and with minimal effort.
  • CRADAs are "cooperative" efforts, focused on research and design activities that are relevant to both DMEA’s mission and a partner’s needs.
  • CRADAs are not subject to most Federal Acquisition Regulation rules.
  • CRADAs allow DMEA to provide personnel, services, facilities, and equipment, with or without reimbursement. Unlike a regular contract, however, DMEA is not allowed to provide funds to non-federal partners.
  • Partners may provide funds to DMEA, as well as personnel, facilities, equipment, etc.



CRADA Partners

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did Congress establish Cooperative Research and Development Agreements?

Does DMEA have much experience with CRADA?

What capabilities does DMEA have that might be used by a private sector partner under a CRADA?

What would typically be provided by a private sector partner?

How do you establish a CRADA with DMEA?



CRADA Partners

DMEA has had CRADAs with many organizations, including:

  • Alpha Research & Technology, Inc.
  • American Semiconductor, Inc.
  • Austin Semiconductor, Inc.
  • BAE Systems
  • Eltek Semiconductors, Ltd.
  • General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems
  • Intel Corporation
  • International Rectifier
  • Isolink, Inc
  • JSI Microelectronics, Inc.
  • Lights-Camera-Action
  • Linear Technology Corp.
  • Lockheed Martin, Corporation
  • Lockheed Martin Services, Inc.
  • Materials Technology Laboratories, Inc.
  • MTA, Inc.
  • Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
  • Northrop Grumman Space Technology
  • Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation
  • PR & T, Inc.
  • The Raytheon Company
  • Rochester Electronics, Inc.
  • SA Photonics
  • SAVE Inc.
  • Science Applications International Corporation
  • Silicon Turnkey Solutions-USA
  • Space Micron
  • Systron Donner Inertial Division
  • UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory
  • University of California at Davis
  • Xsis Electronics

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Frequently Asked Questions About Cooperative Research and Development Agreements

Q: Why did Congress establish Cooperative Research and Development Agreements?

A: Despite yearly expenditures of some $20 billion for research and development at federal laboratories, it proved to be very difficult to effectively transfer the knowledge and capabilities created by these labs to the U.S. private sector. To help remedy this situation, in 1986 Congress passed the Federal Technology Transfer Act (FTTA) which redefined federal laboratories for the purpose of engaging in Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) with the private sector.

The primary intent of the Act is to allow and encourage federal laboratories to play a significant role in the development of the U.S. commercial technology base by providing government technology and expertise in key areas where the laboratories have their core competencies.

DMEA has one of the best equipped microelectronics laboratories in the world. Through the CRADA process, it can be used by industry and academia for all aspects of microelectronics analysis, design, testing, prototyping, and even limited production. The DMEA staff is also accessible through CRADA.

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Q: Does DMEA have much experience with CRADAs?

A: Yes, DMEA has a great deal of experience with CRADAs. Recent projects addressed such areas as:

  • assessments of microelectronics obsolescence problems
  • reverse engineering of microelectronics circuits
  • radiation hardness testing for microelectronics parts
  • microelectronics die evaluation and prototyping
  • program office support for obsolescence management issues.

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Q: What capabilities does DMEA have that might be used by a private sector partner under a CRADA?

A: Given DMEA’s broad charter and extensive infrastructure, it is not really possible to list every capability. In general, however, DMEA CRADAs are typically used to address:

  • microelectronics electrical and obsolescence analysis
  • reverse engineering and redesign
  • microelectronics component and board level design and testing
  • development of replacement microelectronics components
  • gamma radiation testing and analysis (cobalt 60).

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Q: What would typically be provided by a private sector partner?

A: There is no specific list of items that are, or are not, appropriate. Some CRADAs are very small efforts, involving little more than the sharing of data and information to allow assessment of obsolescence problems. Others are relatively large efforts involving complex development and testing activities. Depending on the scope of the effort, private sector partners may provide expertise, equipment, facilities, services, and/or funds.

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Q: How do you establish a CRADA with DMEA?

A: Generally, the process follows these steps:

  • Someone recognizes a potential for a cooperative effort and that person contacts the DMEA CRADA focal point (see below) to initiate the process.
  • The CRADA focal point will identify a DMEA technical point of contact to work with the customer to develop a work plan.
  • A draft CRADA, incorporating the work plan as an Appendix, is developed by DMEA and packaged for coordination.
  • The CRADA package will go through a short review process, which usually takes a few weeks. The process culminates when authorized representatives of both parties sign the document.
  • The CRADA becomes active when signed by the DMEA Director.

Now, work can begin under the CRADA!


If you would like additional information, or wish to initiate a CRADA with DMEA, please contact our CRADA office at 916-231-1506.

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Image: F22

Sharing Expertise and Facilities with Industry

The F-22 Raptor supersonic combat aircraft, which has a hundred times more computing power than the Space Shuttle, is expected to be deployed in 2005. Meanwhile as it is being flight tested, the F-22 has already experienced obsolescence problems. Honeywell stopped making the application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) that monitors the F-22’s power supply and relays this information to a computer for processing. That left Boeing, which designed this ASIC, without a supplier for the part.

Boeing came to the Defense Microelectronics Activity for help.

DMEA and Boeing worked together under a CRADA to redesign a new integrated circuit to replace the discontinued ASIC.

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