Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

CRADAs in Decline

Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

CRADAs in Decline

Article excerpt

While the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is working hard to stimulate collaboration with industry on biomedical ventures, federal government funding for cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) in all disciplines with companies, universities and other non-government partners is declining significantly.

A report issued in July, 2001 by the U.S. General Accounting Office highlights the problem at laboratories overseen by the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). "The total number of CRADAs at NNSA laboratories and production facilities has declined by more than 60 percent, from a high of 639 in fiscal year 1995 to 244--including only 21 new CRADAs--in the first six months of fiscal year 2001," the report states. "During this period, DOE's funding for CRADAs dropped even more--from $222 million to $19 million ... Overall NNSA's and private partners' support of technology partnerships has dropped from $390 million in fiscal year 1995 to $175 million in fiscal year 2000 and to $81 million in the first 6 months of fiscal year 2001 ."

One particular partnership project, the Office of Science Laboratory Technology Research Program, has suffered even more drastic cuts. "The program originally has $45 million per year for five national laboratories," complains Chris Kniel, a program manager in technology transfer at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "Last year it was $10 million among ten labs. In this year's budget it has been cut to $6.6 million."

Kniel and other managers decry the demise of the program, which supports partnerships between national labs and industry for medium-to-high risk multidisciplinary attacks on challenging scientific problems whose solutions have promising commercial potential. …

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