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Begin Hierarchical Links EPA Home > Research & Development > Science Policy > Federal Technology Transfer Act (FTTA) End Hierarchical Links


Partners in Science: Federal Technology Transfer Act (FTTA)

What's New

EPA Press Release (8/4/04): EPA Signs Agreement to Develop Improved Tests for Identifying Hazardous Chemicals

FTTA Factsheet (PDF, 1pp., 1.5MB. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available as a free download, to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Acrobat Reader.)
Several recent CRADAs have been signed to install arsenic treatment technologies at small utilities

The EPA seeks opportunities to transfer federal technologies into the marketplace, and collaborate on environmental research and development projects with outside entities, such as industry, consortia, academia, trade associations, and state and local agencies. The Federal Technology Transfer Act (FTTA) provides a mechanism for these cooperative research and development partnerships. Through the FTTA program, federal agencies can conduct joint research with non-federal partners and protect intellectual property that may be developed. The alliance that is formed through the FTTA program supports and improves US competitive positions worldwide, helps remove barriers to collaboration, and encourages cooperative research and development with the goal of commercialization.

EPA FTTA program partners benefit from cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) by tapping into EPA’s resources and knowledge base to conduct joint research and technology commercialization. Other benefits include:

  • Access to EPA laboratory facilities. By entering into CRADAs, non-federal partners can conduct research in EPA’s scientific facilities;
  • Collaboration with EPA scientists and engineers to work on cutting-edge research projects;
  • Opportunities for licensing patented technologies and bringing new technologies to the marketplace;

There are also many benefits of cooperative research and development to the public at large. These include:

  • Research projects that lead to better protection of human health and the environment;
  • Government research reaches the marketplace;
  • Collaboration enhances the quality of products;
  • New environmental technology reaches the field quickly.

CRADAs are negotiated agreements between specific laboratories and non-federal partners that outline the terms and conditions under which work will be performed. CRADAs set out the project scope, resources to be provided by each party, and will often contain provisions regarding licensing, commercialization, and patent development. While laboratories cannot transfer funds to the cooperating partner under a CRADA, they can exchange personnel, equipment, or services. CRADAs can be established between interested parties to transfer resources from non-government organizations to the federal government so that both parties can share jointly in research and development patents. Licensing agreements and royalty rights are also covered under these agreements.

For more information, contact Laurel Schultz at (202) 564-3917,, or Kathleen Graham at (202) 564-2678,

Support Provided by EPA's Technology Transfer Staff

Assist in identifying research suitable for cooperative efforts
Assist EPA researchers in identifying potential partners
Assist partners in identifying opportunities for EPA collaboration
Market assessment of technologies developed by EPA researchers
Tracking and reporting
Coordination with General Counsel on intellectual property protection

Related Links

History of Technology Transfer Legislation
Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer
Patent Law for the Practitioner
EPA Science Inventory
EPA Resarch & Development Facilities Available for Use






Example Partnerships

Many organizations have participated in EPA's FTTA program, bringing innovative environmental solutions to the public. Following are just three examples.
Homeland Security Water Monitoring

The EPA has been designated the lead for securing the national water infrastructure. Several CRADAs have recently been enacted in which water monitoring sensors will be tested for their ability to rapidly detect chemical and biological contaminants in the water.

Hybrid Motor Vehicles

The EPA, through its National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan, owns several patents for inventions related to fuel efficient hybrid motor vehicles. The EPA’s hybrid vehicles have shown the potential for significantly greater fuel mileage (and reduced cost), even compared to new, state-of-the-art gas-electric hybrid vehicles that are currently gaining acclaim among the environmental community. Currently, first generation demonstration vehicles for the EPA’s hydraulic hybrid technology have been completed and tested with great success.

For more information on this technology, visit Fuel Cells & Vehicles

Mold Detection

EPA researchers developed a DNA-based, patented process that measures more than 130 species of toxic molds and fungi in indoor environments. With EPA’s new technology, as little as one mold spore can be quickly and accurately identified. This technology is now licensed to 13 companies in the United States and Europe.

For more information on mold, visit EPA's guide to Mold, Moisture and your Home (PDF, 20pp., 424 KB, About PDF )

FY 2003 CRADA Statistics

Number of new CRADAs: 39
Total Resources: $15.4M

FY 2003 Patent Statistics

New Inventions Reported: 14
New Patent Applications: 21
New Patents Issued: 8
Royalties Paid to EPA Inventors: $178K
Royalties paid to EPA labs: $498K


EPA's Cooperative Agreement with the National Technology Transfer Center

The Robert C. Byrd National Technology Transfer Center (NTTC) has a congressionally authorized cooperative agreement with the EPA. Through this agreement, NTTC helps partners in identifying EPA research and technologies that have market and license potential.

Specifically, NTTC helps to:

  • Increase industry awareness and understanding of EPA research and technologies
  • Expedite the private sector's ability to identify licensing potential in EPA's research
  • Facilitate technology transfer and commercialization communications between industry and EPA
  • Identify industries and universities to partner with EPA
For more information on NTTC's environmental technologies program visit their website.




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This page last updated: October 26, 2004