Partnering Agreements

Technology transfer is critical to PPPL’s mission to drive innovation in the field of plasma physics. We seek strong partners to join us in advancing our research and technologies by fostering collaborations with industry through sponsored research and licensing.

There are a variety of flexible ways to partner with PPPL to meet your technology transfer needs.


Types of Partnerships

Table of CRADA/SPP differences

Strategic Partnership Project (SPP): Non-Federal SPP Agreements permit DOE laboratories and facilities to conduct work for businesses and other non-federal entities on a reimbursable basis. A privately funded SPP Agreement typically allows the non-Federal Sponsor to own any inventions made by the Laboratory under the SPP Agreement (i.e. Subject Inventions) and to mark as proprietary and obtain ownership of data that is generated under the SPP Agreement, subject to certain terms and conditions. Although the Government typically will retain a royalty-free license in Subject Inventions for use by or on behalf of the Government (i.e. Government Use License), a more limited Government research license may be applied to SPP Subject Inventions with DOE Patent Counsel approval. The Government Research License permits the Government to use and enable others to use the SPP Subject Inventions for research purposes only. If a limited research license is applied, then the Government retains expanded rights in data. SPP Agreements require the non-Federal Sponsor to: (1) maintain at least sixty (60) days of advance funding for activities the Laboratory conducts under the SPP Agreement; and (2) in certain circumstances, indemnify the Government and the Laboratory for certain specified risks, intellectual property infringement, and products liability. The Laboratory recovers its costs of performing activities under an SPP Agreement from a non-Federal Sponsor and is prohibited from charging any fee in excess of the Laboratory's costs. SPP Agreements are "best efforts" contracts and the Sponsor receives no warranties for work performed under a SPP Agreement.

Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA): A CRADA is a legal agreement between government laboratories and non-federal parties in which both participants agree to collaborate, by providing personnel, services, facilities, or equipment and pool the results from a particular research and development program. The non­ federal parties must provide funds or in-kind contributions (no direct funding is provided by the laboratory to the CRADA participant). A CRADA allows the Participant to own the Subject Inventions it conceives or first reduces to practice under the CRADA. Data produced under the CRADA may also be protected from public disclosure for up to five (5) years. The Participant also receives an option for a limited period of time to negotiate a field of use limited exclusive license agreement to the Subject Inventions that the Laboratory conceives or first reduces to practice under the CRADA. As with SPP Agreements, certain terms and conditions such as the Government license apply to all CRADA Subject Inventions and data generated under the CRADA. Unless the CRADA is a "100% funds-in" CRADA, the Participant provides actual or in-kind funding for its contributions to the CRADA activities and the Laboratory obtains funding from a DOE programmatic source. The Laboratory does not charge a fee to the Participant for the Laboratory's CRADA activities. CRADA work begins after the Laboratory receives its funding, the CRADA is executed by the Laboratory and the Participant, and the DOE Contracting Officer approves the CRADA. The CRADA Participant indemnifies the Government and the Laboratory for product liability and the Government and the Laboratory disclaim all warranties to work performed under a CRADA.


Steps to Becoming a Partner

  1. DISCUSS THE PROJECT:  Contact the Technology Transfer office to discuss the proposed project. A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is drafted and signed.
  2. DEVELOP STATEMENT OF WORK:  If qualifications are met, a Statement of Work (SOW) is drafted, reviewed and presented for approval.
  3. CONTRACT NEGOTIATION: When the SOW is approved, a contract is negotiated, then signed.
  4. SEND FUNDS & START WORK: Upon contract approval, funds are transferred to PPPL and work officially begins on the project.
  5. CONTINUED MANAGEMENT:  Throughout the process, PPPL and the Partner will collaborate to manage the project through completion.

Explore this useful guide to partnering with DOE laboratories

Begin a Partnership


David Zimmerman
Head - Strategic Partnership Office
[email protected]