Eight DOE National Labs Offer Streamlined Partnerships

February 29, 2012

DOE announced on February 23 that eight of its national laboratories will participate in a pilot initiative to make it easier for private companies to use the laboratories' research capabilities. The participating labs are Ames, Brookhaven, Idaho, Lawrence Livermore, National Renewable Energy, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest, and Savannah River national laboratories. The Agreements for Commercializing Technology (ACT) program will harness the United States' advantages in innovation to create jobs and accelerate the development of new clean energy technologies.

Previously, companies wishing to partner with the laboratories for commercial research had two options: signing a cooperative research and development agreement or a work-for-others agreement. The eight laboratories participating in this pilot program intend to offer a less constrained ACT option. Under an ACT, more flexibility will be available to negotiate the intellectual property rights for technologies created at a laboratory; there will also be more adaptability in other issues ranging from payment to project structures. The ACT agreements will also make it easier to develop multi-party partnerships. See the DOE press release and a list of frequently asked questions about the ACT option.