Public Private Partnership Agreements

“The idea behind this is that government expertise and industry know-how combine to create a new product or capability, or a commercial capability is made easier…”

Dr. Raymond Buettner, Jr.
Associate Professor of Information Sciences
Director, SLAMR and NPS Field Experimentation

We look forward to the opportunity to partner with NPS.  I am confident that we’ll learn a lot from each other, and advance our shared understanding of optimal concepts of operations in unmanned aerial logistics.  The aerospace history has numerous examples of productive partnerships between private companies, academia and governmental organizations.  We look forward to testing our systems collaboratively with the team at NPS, as well as sharing our industry knowledge about the art of the possible.”

Mr. David Merrill
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
Elroy Air

"Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) are broadly defined in the DoD as, 'voluntary, non- contractual collaborations between DoD and non-federal entities (NFEs) through which both parties leverage the expertise, resources and incentives of the other to achieve mutually agreed goals.'"

Department of Defense.  (2016, October 7).  Public-Private Partnering for Product Support GUIDEBOOK.

Public Private Partnerships

A CRADA is "any agreement between one or more Federal laboratories and one or more non-Federal collaborators under which the Government, through its laboratories provides personnel, services, facilities, equipment, intellectual property, or other resources with or without reimbursement (but not funds to non-Federal collaborators) and the non-Federal collaborators provide funds, personnel, services, facilities, equipment, intellectual property, or other resources toward the conduct of specified research and development efforts which are consistent with the missions of the laboratory..." (15 USC §3710a)

A CRADA is a legal instrument that allows Federal laboratories to engage in collaborative efforts with one or more non-Federal partners. A CRADA is a significant technology transfer (T2) mechanism for collaboration, obtaining long-term value, and high returns on research and development (R&D) investments.

A CRADA is a flexible mechanism that removes barriers to collaboration with the private sector without Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) selection criteria. The CRADA is not subject to FAR terms and conditions. It must have a joint statement of work (SOW) describing the scope, objectives, planned tasks for R&D, and measurable outcomes/deliverables. The CRADA defines the legal and business framework for the management and execution of the agreement. The CRADA contains provisions for a variety of intellectual property (IP) issues including data rights, property ownership, and the allocation of rights to existing and future inventions and/or IP. It is considered a non-FAR contract or legal agreement, not a grant or cooperative agreement [emphasis added]. (DoN, 2018)

  • Benefits to Private Sector, Academia, and Non-Governmental Organization
    • Gain access to Navy/Marine Corps expertise and unique facilities
    • Perform mutually beneficial R&D
    • Obtain rights to subject invention made under the CRADA (DoN)
  • Eligibility
    • Other Federal agencies
    • Units of State or local governments
    • Private sector organizations
    • Public or private foundations
    • Non-profit organizations
    • Individual persons (DoN)

Source: Department of the Navy (DoN). (2018, September). Technology Transfer Handbook.

  • Statutory authority - 10 USC §2474 Centers of Industrial and Technical Excellence: designation; public-private partnerships
  • Eligibility - Any private, entity set up by State or local governments.
  • Benefits
    • CITE designation as an arsenal- and/or depot-level activity allows the Navy to more efficiently maintain an in-house, organic energetics capability by enabling designated activities to effectively address and manage under-utilized capacity.
    • This has a positive impact on operations due to increased direct investments in equipment and facilities, combined with cost sharing of a larger revenue base, resulting in higher levels of readiness with lower stabilized rates.
  • Description - CITE-designated depot maintenance and military arsenal facilities may
    • enter into public-private partnerships with private, non-Government entities to perform work related to core competencies;
    • received reimbursement for use of under-utilized Government resources where capacities exist; and
    • be excluded from requirements limiting the amount of Government work contracted out to private industry within a fiscal year.

Source: Naval Sea Systems Command. (n.d.).  Business Partnerships: Centers for Industrial and Technical Excellence.

  • Statutory authority 10 USC §2681 Use of test and evaluation installations by commercial entities
  • Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to "enter into contracts with commercial entities that desire to conduct commercial test and evaluation activities at a Major Range and Test Facility Installation [emphasis added]." (10 USC §2681)
  • Testing must be done at
    • "'Major Range and Test Facility Installation' means a test and evaluation installation under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense and designated as a Major Range and Test Facility Installation by the Secretary [emphasis added]." (10 USC §2681)
    • "the designated facility." (DoN)

Source: Department of the Navy (DoN). (2018, September). Technology Transfer Handbook.

A sale of articles or services may be made under this section only if-

(A) the Secretary of Defense determines that the articles or services are not available from a commercial source in the U.S.;
(B) the purchaser agrees to hold harmless and indemnify the U.S., except as provided in paragraph (3), from any claim for damages or injury to any person or property arising out of the articles or services;
(C) the articles or services can be substantially manufactured or performed by the industrial facility concerned with only incidental subcontracting;
(D) it is in the public interest to manufacture the articles or perform the services;
(E) the Secretary determines that the sale of the articles or services will not interfere with the military mission of the industrial facility concerned; and
(F) the sale of the goods and services is made on the basis that it will not interfere with performance of work by the industrial facility concerned for the DoD. (DoN)

Source: Department of the Navy. (2018, September). Technology Transfer Handbook.

  • Statutory authority 10 USC §2539b Availability of samples, drawings, information, equipment, materials, and certain services
  • Authorizes agencies to

    1) sell, rent, lend, or give samples, drawings, and manufacturing or other information (subject to the rights of third parties) to any person or entity;

    (2) sell, rent, or lend government equipment or materials to any person or entity—

    (A) for use in independent research and development programs, subject to the condition that the equipment or material be used exclusively for such research and development; or

    (B) for use in demonstrations to a friendly foreign government; 

    3) make available to any person or entity, at an appropriate fee, the services of any government laboratory, center, range, or other testing facility for the testing of materials, equipment, models, computer software, and other items; and

    (4) make available to any person or entity, through leases, contracts, or other appropriate arrangements, facilities, services, and equipment of any government laboratory, research center, or range, if the facilities, services, and equipment provided will not be in direct competition with the domestic private sector. [emphases added] (10 USC §2539b)

  • "Confidentiality of Test Results.— The results of tests performed with services...are confidential and may not be disclosed outside the Federal Government without the consent of the persons for whom the tests are performed [emphasis added]." (10 USC §2539b)

Source: Department of the Navy. (2018, September). Technology Transfer Handbook.

laboratories 'to enter into one or more education agreements with educational institutions in the United States for the purpose of encouraging and enhancing study in scientific disciplines at all levels of education.” These educational institutions “are local educational agency, colleges, universities, and any other nonprofit institutions that are dedicated to improving science, mathematics, business, law, technology transfer or transition and engineering education.'

Under an EPA, 'the director of a defense laboratory may provide, and is encouraged to provide, assistance to the educational institution by—'

  • loaning defense laboratory equipment that supports the agreement;
  • transferring computer equipment or other scientific equipment as appropriate;
  • making laboratory personnel available to teach science courses or to assist in the development of science courses and materials for the institution;
  • providing in the defense laboratory sabbatical opportunities for faculty and internship opportunities for students;
  • involving faculty and students of the institution in defense laboratory projects, including research and [technology transfer] or transition projects;
  • cooperating with the institution in developing a program under which students may be given academic credit for work on defense laboratory projects;
  • providing academic and career advice and assistance to students of the institution.

Source: Department of the Navy. (2018, September). Technology Transfer Handbook.

a contract or memorandum of understanding between a Federal laboratory and an entity known as a partnership intermediary. The PIA provides for the partnership intermediary to perform services for the Federal laboratory that increase the likelihood of success in the conduct of cooperative or joint activities with industry or academic institutions.

PIAs provide a support mechanism for organizations that need or can make demonstrably productive use of technology-related assistance from a Federal laboratory. This support may be in the form of assistance, counsel, advice, evaluation, or other cooperation from the partnership intermediary. The key points are (1) that the PIA must provide for the partnership intermediary to provide support to these organizations and (2) the support must relate to technology-related assistance from the Federal laboratory.  Although PIAs often provide ancillary benefits to the Government, particularly in assisting Federal laboratories in fulfilling their [technology transfer] mission, the immediate purpose of a PIA is to provide support to the organizations that can make use of a Federal laboratory’s technical assistance.  PIAs are not a substitute for laboratory support services contracts. (DoN)

  • Benefits to Private Sector, Academia, and Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Eligibility

Title 15 U.S. Code §3715(c) and Title 10 U.S. Code §2368 define a “partnership intermediary” in terms of the organization’s structure and function.

The organization’s structure must be:

  • an agency of a State or local government, or
  • a nonprofit entity owned in whole or in part by, chartered by, funded in whole or in part by, or operated in whole or in part by or on behalf of a State or local government.

The organization’s function must be to assist, counsel, advise, evaluate, or otherwise cooperate with industry or academic institutions that need or can make demonstrably productive use of technology-related assistance from a Federal laboratory. (DoN; Emphasis in original)

Source: Department of the Navy (DoN). (2018, September). Technology Transfer Handbook.