The defense community in Maryland is an R&D powerhouse.
Use this database to see the innovative patents that are poised for commercialization.
Entrepreneurs and companies can work with the defense-related Federal research laboratories in
Maryland wide variety of ways. Several of the available approaches are summarized here, but please reach out
to the Technology Transfer Offices to discuss your specific interests and needs and they will work
with you to find the right solution for your specific circumstances.
Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)
A CRADA is a means for a Federal Laboratory to provide personnel, services, facilities, equipment,
ip and other resources to support a commercial organization in undertaking research and development
A CRADA may also be used when a Federal Laboratory has a need for similar resource from a commercial
organization to further the laboratory's own R&D program.
Standard Option Agreement (SOA)
A company that is interested in a license for intellectual property from a federal laboratory may
need time to perform internal validation of the technology and initiate a development program
before embarking on a license to develop innovative new products. An Option Agreement provides the
optionee an agreed upon time period to do this, with predefined license terms so that they can hit
the ground running when they are ready to license.
Startup Option Agreement (SOA)
Entrepreneurs that need to raise funds to start their business may enter into a Startup Option
Agreement with a federal laboratory. The Option Agreement gives the entrepreneur a certain amount
of time (typically one year) to write a business plan, raise capital, and start their company,
after which they can enter into a license Agreement with the federal agency concerned on
pre-defined terms. The Startup Option Agreement is similar to the
standard Option Agreement except that it may include equity and improvements to the license
Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA)
A lab and an entrepreneur or company may need to disclose confidential information to each other in
order to effectively move forward with a research proposal, and may therefore enter into a
Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA) which protects the information of both parties that may be shared
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) may be entered into that expresses the mutual understanding of
expectations towards a common objective. An example of an MOU would be
the intent to perform research that draws on the synergistic and collaborative research strengths of
a federal laboratory and an industry partner, including general research objectives, intellectual
property rights, publication rights, and projected expenses.
Material Transfer Agreements (MTA)
A materials transfer agreement allows materials to be transfered from a federal lab to an
entrepreneur or company in order to allow the material to be tested in a particulr application.
The agreement generally defines what uses the material can be put to and the length of time for
which the agreement will be in place.
Patent License Agreements (PLA)
A PLA gives business owners the opportunity to add technology to their existing capabilities or to
a new business around it. The Terms of each PLA are negotiated individually. Once a PLA is in place,
continue to be a partner for business, connecting companies to valuable resources throughout the
Benefits of a PLA include using the patent to:
Create new products or enhance current products
Launch a company around one of our technologies
Achieve market advantage by accessing innovative technologies
Save time and money by leveraging federal Research & Development (R&D) resources