Andy Apel apel at
Wed Dec 4 11:40:45 EST 1996

Andy Apel wrote:
> I'm the assistant editor for Biotech Reporter.  I'm working on a short
> feature for next month about CRADAs--Cooperative Research and
> Development Agreements that the USDA Agricultural Research Service
> enters into with private concerns, for the funding of research.
> What I've found so far is that the process of putting together an
> agreement for joint government/private funding for ARS research projects
> is almost entirely informal; no announcements, no bids, no selection
> process.  Have any of you here been involved in putting a CRADA
> together?  What are your thoughts on the process?  Is this government
> the way it should be, or should there be more structure?  Related
> comments are welcome.
One response to this post was to the effect that the post implied that
CRADAs were used primarily for funding--and that, in actuality, CRADAs
are a form of technology transfer, for technologies which appear to have
commercial applications.  The point is well taken--and duly noted. 

It was also suggested that the post implied that the lack of formality
in the process left the door open to various improprieties.  The
respondent pointed out that the openness of the ARS and the availability
of information about the progress of its research activities made
improprieties unlikely.  This point, too, is well taken; and it's a
philosophy shared by the US Office on Government Ethics.  A perfectly
healthy view. 

When I'm done with this article, I hope to have a piece which private
companies and government researchers will view as expressing a
'consensus' on how CRADAs are done--and, hopefully, help companies
interested in working with the ARS on how to go about it.

--Andy Apel, asst. ed.
Biotech Reporter
(800) 807-8354.

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