1. Our phone numbers have changed.Click here for more info

Technology Transfer (T2) at the USTRANSCOM Office of Research & Technology Applications (ORTA)

Partnerships for Collaboration

T2: A Toolkit for Collaboration

For the federal government, keeping pace with industry’s emerging technologies and concepts is a continuing challenge. Teaming to share new tools and techniques and examine and demonstrate industry/academic innovation in realistic government operations can break this barrier. T2, a requirement for Federal Laboratories since 1980, is one way to link government with experts in industry and academia to develop a clearer view of future capabilities.

Common T2 mechanisms used by USTRANSCOM include the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), Education Partnership Agreement (EPA). Other T2 agreements and processes are practiced by other agencies through Federal Laboratory authorities and include patenting, licensing, and a variety of agreements to share information and access to government technologies and specialized test facilities.

Unencumbered by the traditional government budget cycle or unwieldy traditional contracting constraints, T2 allows interested parties to inform the government about their emerging products and techniques in a concept exploration setting. Government and industry work together to try out new concepts in realistic environments, advancing the maturity of the innovation while informing the government about its placement and value.

In the Department of Defense, Technology Transfer is led and facilitated by the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering’s Office of Laboratories and Personnel (OUSD (R&E) OL&P).

USTRANSCOM is also a participating member of the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC).

Additional Knowledge

At USTRANSCOM, the ORTA is the T2 leader. ORTA facilitates agreements and guides research across HQ USTRANSCOM and Transportation Component Commands (TCCs) of Air Mobility Command, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, and Military Sealift Command. T2 promotes USTRANSCOM understanding of value, risk, and cost of new capabilities.

USTRANSCOM utilizes T2 authorities, the same used by Federal Laboratories, to form research partnerships on a wide range of specific topics with academia and industry. These partnerships are often in the form of Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) and Education Partnership Agreements (EPAs).

CRADA partnerships with experts help USTRANSCOM understand the utility and risks of applying new technologies and techniques to its DOD supply chain and transportation management functions, while providing the Collaborators, the experts from outside the federal government, an opportunity to mature their concepts and technologies, understand future government interests and provides chances to exercise a new technology or technique with government experts in a robust, realistic user environment.

Technology Transfer opportunities with USTRANSCOM are advertised in SAM.gov at https://sam.gov/; use keywords "USTRANSCOM", "ORTA" or "CRADA".

What is Technology Transfer (T2)?

In general, T2 processes, originally used to commercialize federal laboratory-developed technology)), is the process by which valuable research, skills, knowledge, and/or technology are delivered from government, colleges and universities, or other research institutions into the corporate environment, termed “spin-off”, where it can be nurtured and developed into a commercial product or service with wider application and distribution.

However, USTRANSCOM uses (T2) in a non-traditional “spin-on”, rather than “spin-off” modality to bring in new innovations to support USTRANSCOM future capabilities and global logistics missions.

The Technology Transfer Spin-on Process Flow
The Technology Transfer Spin-on Process Flow

USTRANSCOM ORTA facilitates and guides all T2 activities across USTRANSCOM. T2 authority provides USTRANSCOM with capability to enter technology exploration partnerships with non-federal and industry entities. The ORTA works as the principal staff arm of the USTRANSCOM Laboratory Director, a responsibility of the USTRANSCOM Deputy Commander.

The principal mechanism of T2-based collaboration in USTRANSCOM is the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), governed by Title 15 United States Code, Section 3710a.

T2 agreements, including CRADAs, are voluntary for both the federal and non-federal entity (the latter is known as the "Collaborator"). While the government may seek one or more Collaborators, a Collaborator may initiate the dialogue with the government seeking a CRADA; neither party is compelled to enter or remain in a T2 agreement.

Elements of the CRADA Joint Work Plan
Elements of the CRADA Joint Work Plan

CRADAs in USTRANSCOM are utilized to explore and mature concepts, techniques, and technologies to allow the government to better understand the feasibility and risks of these capabilities for the future. CRADAs are not substitutes or precursors for acquisition or procurement. Instead, CRADAs are methods of experimentation, in a Public-Private Partnership mode, influenced by or conducted in the DOD environment, to better understand future operating concepts and their enabling technologies, techniques and business cases, and to better understand the implications and risks of emerging technologies as well as procedures which are new to the DOD.

Inventions or innovations jointly produced by the collaboration are jointly owned by both USTRANSCOM and the Collaborator as described in the intellectual property provisions of the specific T2 agreement.

CRADAs are not considered “acquisition” and not subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). These agreements cannot result in payment of Federal funds to the Collaborator. USTRANSCOM may provide personnel, services, facilities, equipment, intellectual property, or other resources. The non-Federal parties may provide funds, personnel, services, facilities, equipment, intellectual property, or other resources toward the conduct of specified research or development efforts that are consistent with the mission of USTRANSCOM. Any property and equipment provided under technology transfer mechanisms will be provided in accordance with established property management policies and procedures. The government typically provides access to information systems, data, physical infrastructure, test agencies, and subject matter expertise, as documented in the terms of the CRADA's Joint Work Plan, as its contribution to the partnership. The Collaborator gains from exposure and exercise of proprietary material and concepts in the demanding DOD environment, which encourages maturation of the technology or technique.

CRADAs are typically 1-2 years in duration, with well-defined and limited research objectives. Constraining CRADAs in this manner assists both the Collaborator and the government to plan for and commit the right resources to the mutual development work. USTRANSCOM and the Collaborators appoint their own "Principal Investigators" (i.e., project managers) to lead the experimental efforts and exercise the collaboration.

A typical outcome of a CRADA is a report on the results of the experimentation, a prototypical application of the technology, and enhanced government ability to articulate the boundaries of its future capabilities. Intellectual property produced is identified, inventoried, and archived with agreement on government and Collaborator use rights. The Collaborator gains a more mature product or technique and an understanding of the potential future customer of the capability. CRADAs provide protection of intellectual property (IP) to the Collaborator and government. CRADA information is protected from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for up to five years.

Building T2 Partnerships
Building T2 Partnerships

Industry and academia can propose T2 projects to USTRANSCOM, and USTRANSCOM can seek collaborators, typically through a call to industry for whitepapers as collaboration proposals on SAM.gov.

ORTA is the point of contact. ORTA will work with potential non-federal entities and USTRANSCOM subject matter experts to determine mutual interest in establishing a T2 agreement.

Terms of the agreement are determined by dialogue between USTRANSCOM and the Collaborator.

When USTRANSCOM makes a call to industry on sam.gov, an initial whitepaper submission typically starts the dialogue; the CRADA's terms are decided by discussions between USTRANSCOM and the Collaborator/s. ORTA works closely with USTRANSCOM Intellectual Property attorneys to properly articulate the agreement at the start and during the actual conduct of the agreement to answer questions of all parties on legal details and issues.

USTRANSCOM seeks multiple CRADA Partners to independently work under CRADAs on similar challenges. This independent work on a common topic, and resulting proprietary materials or concepts, further expands the government's understanding of the feasibility and risks of new technologies based on independent innovative approaches, while each collaborator's intellectual property is segregated and protected from potential competitors in future acquisition activities, if any.

USTRANSCOM Deputy Commander leads T2 activities as “Laboratory Director”. ORTA, working with the Principal Investigators, coordinate draft agreements through USTRANSCOM staff as necessary before signature. This staffing process ensures that the intended experimentation and partnership does not adversely impact any ongoing or planned competitive acquisition efforts.

Take-Aways for USTRANSCOM Technology Transfer
Take-Aways for USTRANSCOM Technology Transfer

Federal Laboratory Consortium


Transportation and Technology Industry Liaison Office


In addition to SAM.gov announcements, Technology Transfer procedures allow the non-Federal parties to initiate contact directly with USTRANSCOM. To initiate a Technology Transfer discussion, contact the ORTA via Mr. Mark Surina, LMI Consulting or LCDR Adam Alleman, TCJ5-SC, USTRANSCOM Office of Research and Technology Applications at the following address and/or e-mail:

508 Scott Drive
Scott AFB, IL 62225-5357

Follow Us On:

Facebook      Instagram      Twitter      Flickr      LinkedIn

Office of Public Affairs|United States Transportation Command|Scott Air Force Base IL 62225-5357
This is a Department of Defense (DOD) computer system. Please read our Privacy, Accessibility, Use and Non-Endorsement Disclaimer Notice.