Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs)

A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA, is a written agreement between a private, university, or other entity, and a NOAA Laboratory or Science Center to work together on a collaborative R&D project.  CRADAs are an important tool used by NOAA laboratories to engage in collaborative efforts with non-federal partners to achieve the goals of advancing our mission capabilities and encouraging technology transfer.  A CRADA allows NOAA and non-Federal partners to maximize their resources by sharing technical expertise in a protected environment.  Intellectual property emerging from the effort is similarly shared, which speeds the commercialization of any resulting technology.  
Under a CRADA, NOAA may contribute staff, facilities, expertise, and intellectual property to a collaboration, but not funding The CRADA, which is not an acquisition or procurement vehicle, is designed to be a relatively easy mechanism to implement, requiring less time and effort to initiate than previous methods for working with non-government organizations. The CRADA is also intended to take into account the needs and desires of private industry when commercializing a product.

A CRADA can:

  • Provide incentives that help speed up the commercialization of NOAA developed technology.
  • Protect any propriety information brought to the CRADA effort by the partner.
  • Allow all parties to keep research result emerging from the CRADA confidential and free from disclosure through the Freedom of Information Act for up to five years.
  • Allow NOAA and the partner to share patents and patent licenses.

Top 10 States for NOAA CRADA Partnerships637708734072151963

NOAA CRADA Distribution

NOAA has Labs and Science Centers across the country where we conduct the research and development to support our mission.  The graph on the left shows the states where we have signed the most Cooperative R&D Agreements.

Broad Mix of Applications

NOAA's CRADA partnerships span a wide range of mission-relevant areas.  The following graph shows the mix of historical partnership applications as of FY21.

Signed CRADAs by Application637708735985276944

Mission Area Mix

The R&D conducted under Cooperative R&D Agreements with NOAA varies across our broad mission areas.  

CRADAs by Mission Area FY21637708722436370854


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Our mission is to foster preeminent science and technological innovation through federal investments in research and development (R&D), partnerships or licensing opportunities at NOAA.