• Decrease font size
  • Return font size to normal
  • Increase font size
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Science & Research

  • Print
  • Share
  • E-mail

Collaborative Opportunities

FDA Technology Transfer Program
Government * Industry * Academia

CRADAs | Inventions and Patents | Licensing

3-D Printed Spinal DiscCollaborations Are Key to Advance Regulatory Science

FDA scientists--together with the Agency's collaborators in academia, industry, and government--are harnessing new technologies to transform food safety, reduce the harm caused by tobacco products, and revolutionize the way we evaluate and support development, manufacture, and use of medical products. 

FDA's Technology Transfer Program applies current policies and procedures to help FDA and our collaborators develop and transfer these federal technologies to the commercial marketplace.

Federal Laws Promote Collaboration to Spur Innovation

The Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986, which amended the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980; as well as other laws and Public Health Service policies encourage greater engagement and collaboration among Federal labs, state and local governments, universities, and the private sector. The goal is to increase the rate of technology transfer from Federal R&D investments to the private sector to enhance public health, spur economic growth, and increase the nation’s global competitiveness.

FDA Tool Supports Collaborative R&D to Promote Public Health 

The Federal Technology Transfer Act makes FDA responsible for developing opportunities to transfer its technology. Under a mechanism that FDA created for collaborations called the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), FDA strongly supports collaborative research and development that falls under FDA's mission and that may result in patents and licenses that promote public health. CRADAs provide incentives for: 

  • Federal scientists (royalties from licensed inventions)

  • Federal laboratories (additional research resources and expertise), and

  • CRADA partners(exclusive licenses for patented inventions).

FDA has internal procedures for establishing CRADAs; filing Invention Reports; and, through a formal agreement with NIH's Office of Technology Transfer, licensing patented inventions and biological materials. We also have a Fair Access and Conflict of Interest policy to safeguard FDA and the scientist while fostering collaborative efforts. All these topics are addressed in the selections that follow.