You are here

Contract Research

Contract Research

Ames Laboratory can enter into contractual agreements with private companies and institutions for research and expertise that cannot be found within the private sector. The Laboratory, on a best effort basis, can provide services and research abilities related to the Laboratory's mission and unique capabilities. These contractual arrangements are often parts of larger federal programs, such as the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) programs, or other federal agencies' R&D programs.

To enter into a SPP or TSA, an entity must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM).  For more information on obtaining a DUS number and registering in SAM, click here.

If you have a "materials" issue that can't be solved using your own methods or by a private entity and Ames Laboratory has the expertise in-house, Innovation Partnerships can facilitate a preliminary discussion with our scientists to see if we can help. If our Scientist(s) feel that they may be able to solve your issue, a scope of work with an estimated budget will be developed for your approval. Pending DOE approval, the appropriate agreement will be prepared for your review and negotiation. Upon signature acceptance of the agreement and the receipt of Advanced Funds, the work may begin.

Contract Mechanisms:

Cooperative Research & Development Agreements (CRADA)

  • CRADAs enable the Ames Laboratory and one or more partners (usually from industry or academia) to collaborate, share costs and pool the results of a particular R&D program.

Strategic Partnership Projects (SPP)

  • SPP project plans are usually specified by the external partner(s), and the execution of the work is performed by technically qualified Laboratory staff using Laboratory facilities.
  • SPP is formerly known as Work for Others (WFO)

Technical Service Agreement (TSA)

  • A TSA facilitates small, short time-framed projects for a partner that does not involve research.

Personnel Exchange Program

  • These programs provide opportunities for visiting professionals from industry or universities to participate in established research studies at Ames Laboratory, usually for periods of six months to one year in duration.

Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA)

  • A NDA is a legal contract creating a confidential relationship between the Ames Laboratory and the Industrial Partner(s).

Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)

  • MTAs are used to transfer materials, biological or non-biological, between institutions from all sectors of the scientific community. 


For Information on DOE Technology Transfer Please visit