Effective Date: June 16, 2022
Expiration Date: June 16, 2027
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Agreements: In the broad context of this NPR, an Agreement includes any transaction the Space Act authorizes NASA to conclude (i.e., contracts, leases, grants, cooperative agreements, or other transactions). Agreements are signed legal instruments that generally enable collaborative exchange or partnerships to facilitate sharing, exchange, lease, transfer, or commercialization of technology, information, services, expertise, goods, equipment, or facilities. Also see the definition for Space Act Agreement (SAA) below. Some common partnership agreements are defined below and in the Space Act Agreement (SAA) Handbook NAII 1050-1 NASA Advisory Implementing Instruction, Space Act Agreements Guide.
Center Technology Transfer Officer (CTTO): NASA employee who is located at a NASA Field Center who is responsible for ensuring that all Center technology transfer activities discussed in Chapter 2.4 of this NPR are conducted efficiently, effectively and in compliance with this NPR. The CTTO also serves as the chief Technology Transfer liaison with the NASA HQ technology transfer program.
Commercial: As paraphrased from the National Space Policy of the U.S. of America (June 28, 2010), the term "commercial" for purposes of this policy, refers to goods, services, or activities provided by private sector enterprises that bear a reasonable portion of the investment risk and responsibility for the activity, operate in accordance with typical market-based incentives for controlling cost and optimizing return on investment, and have the legal capacity to offer these goods or services to outside customers.
Cooperative Agreements: Cooperative Agreements between NASA and NASA Partners support research and development and provide technology transfer from the Government to the recipient. Projects that normally result in cooperative agreements are projects that are not intended to provide direct benefit to NASA, are expected to benefit the general public, require substantial cost sharing and have commercial applications and profit generating potential. Cooperative agreements are awarded in accordance with NPD 9860.1, "Use and Authority of the Grant and Cooperative Agreement Manual (GCAM)", and the procedures in Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook, accessible at: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/nasa_gcam_-_revised_nov_12_2020.pdf.
Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs): A CRADA is a mechanism whereby non-federal entities (industry, universities, nonprofits, etc.) can collaborate with federal laboratories on research and development projects. CRADAs are advantageous when technology transfer is a primary goal of the agreements; or technologies developed under CRADAs are expected to be transferred to the private sector for commercial exploitation, either by the non-federal partner or another licensee. Use of CRADAs is authorized by the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-480), 15 U.S.C. § 3710. NASA has statutory authority to enter into CRADAs, but generally does not use this authority when NASA's and the Partner's technology transfer objectives can be met through a Space Act Agreement (SAA).
Domestic Space Act Agreements: Agreements between NASA and a non-government U.S. entity.
Export Administration Regulations (EAR): The Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR Part 730 -774), or EAR, regulate the export of dual-use items enumerated in the Commerce Control List (CCL). These items include goods and related technology and technical assistance which are designed predominantly for commercial purposes but could also have military application. The EAR is promulgated under the authority of The Export Administration Act of 1979 administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Funded Agreements: Agreements under which appropriated funds are transferred to a domestic Agreement Partner to accomplish an Agency mission. Funded Agreements may be used only when the Agency's objective cannot be accomplished through the use of a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement.
Inter-Agency Agreements (IAAs): IAAs are reimbursable or non-reimbursable agreements in which the Partner is another Federal Agency or Department.
International Agreements: Nonreimbursable Agreements or Reimbursable Agreements wherein the Agreement Partner is a foreign entity. "Foreign entity" means a legal entity that is not established under a state or Federal law of the U.S. and includes a commercial or noncommercial entity or person or governmental entity of a foreign sovereign. International Nonreimbursable Agreements are generally governed by international law, while International Reimbursable Agreements are generally governed by U.S. Federal law. Regardless of the choice of governing law, however, NASA’s performance of its responsibilities under any agreement is subject to applicable U.S. laws.
Invention: A new, useful process, machine, manufacture, design, or composition of any matter, or any improvement thereof,
1) that is a new technology deemed legally to be novel and non-obvious to others skilled in the art, and
2) meets the requirements for patentability under the patent statutes.
ITAR: Pertains to the set of regulations that control the export and temporary import of defense articles and services. The ITAR (22 CFR § § 120-130) is promulgated under the authority of the Arms Export Control Act (22 USC § § 2778, et seq.). The authority for these controls has been delegated to the Secretary of State by the “Administration of Arms Export Controls”, Executive Order 11958, as amended (42 Fed. Reg. 4311).
Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) or Memoranda of Understanding (MOU): MOA or MOU are forms of non-reimbursable Space Act Agreements that express the intent to collaborate. Either title may be used at the request of a U.S. State or Federal Government entity.
Metrics: Measures of success as prescribed by the Technology Transfer Annual Performance Goals (APG’s) in the annual NASA performance plan. A metric is a measure taken over a period of time that communicates vital information about the status or performance of a system, process, or activity. A metric can drive appropriate action.
NASA-Developed Technology: Technology that is created, developed, or refined by a NASA employee, or by an individual or entity receiving NASA funding (e.g., contractor, grantee, recipient of a cooperative agreement or other NASA funds), or by an external collaborative partner of NASA (e.g., under a Space Act Agreement). The technology is considered NASA-developed whether or not the U.S. Government holds title to the invention.
NASA Innovator: A NASA employee who conceives of or assists in the development of a new innovation.
Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs): NDAs provide the mechanism to share or exchange enabling technical details of technology with potential licensees without that disclosure undermining the patentability of the technology.
NASA Technology Transfer System (NTTS): The NTTS is the Agency-wide database that is used to document and track all activities related to the process of technology transfer.
New Technology: A new NASA-developed, or NASA-funded innovation, including any invention, discovery, improvement, or innovation made in the performance of NASA work in accordance with Chapter 3.1.1 of this NPR.
New Technology Reports (NTRs): Reports of new technologies or innovations filed using the electronic New Technology Reporting (e-NTR, preferred), or according to NF 1679. NASA Partners may use their own invention disclosure forms as long as the form provides information equivalent to that requested in NF 1679.
New Technology Representative: The individual responsible for processing innovation disclosures and NTRs by civil servants, external partners, contractors, and grantees. Activities include issuing acknowledgements to NTR filers, coordinating reviews, tallying statistics, and reporting metrics.
Nonreimbursable Agreements: Involve NASA and one or more Agreement Partners in a mutually beneficial activity that furthers the Agency's missions, wherein each party bears the cost of its participation, and there is no exchange of funds between the parties. Since Nonreimbursable Agreements involve the commitment of NASA resources, the respective contributions of each Agreement Partner will be fair and reasonable under the circumstances.
Partnerships: Technology transfer partnerships are collaborations among the Government, industry, academia, and nonprofit organizations wherein each party commits resources to accomplish agreed-to objectives and shares the risks and rewards of the endeavor.
Partner Innovator: An employee of a NASA Partner who makes an innovation in the performance of work under a documented, legal partnership agreement, whether funded or un-funded.
Program: A strategic investment by a Mission Directorate or Mission Support Office that has a defined technical approach, requirements, funding level, and a management structure that initiates and directs one or more projects. A program defines a strategic direction that the Agency has identified as critical, according to NPR 7120.8.
Project: An official project is a specific investment identified in a Program Plan having defined requirements, a life-cycle cost, a beginning, and an end. A project yields new or revised products that directly address NASA’s strategic needs, according to NPR 7120.8.
Reimbursable Agreements: Agreements wherein NASA’s costs associated with the undertaking are reimbursed by the Agreement Partner (in full or in part). NASA undertakes Reimbursable Agreements when it has unique goods, services, and facilities not being fully utilized to accomplish mission needs, which it can make available to others on a noninterference basis, consistent with the Agency’s missions.
Software Usage Agreements (SUAs): SUAs provide a mechanism for NASA to authorize the release and use of software created by or for NASA. External release of NASA software will be in accordance with NPR 2210.1.
Space Act Agreements (SAAs): SAAs establish a set of legally enforceable premises between NASA and the Partner to the SAA requiring a commitment of NASA resources (e.g., goods, services, facilities, or equipment) to accomplish stated objectives. SAAs include non-reimbursable, reimbursable, and funded Space Act Agreements authorized under the Space Act of 1958 and subsequent legislation. Work performed under the SAA often involves technology development or technology transfer. SAAs are implemented in accordance with NPD 1050.7, "Authority to Enter into Partnership Agreements".
Stakeholders: Stakeholders include any parties with an interest in the outcome of a program or project. Stakeholders of the NASA Technology Transfer Program include internal and external customers, private sector and commercial beneficiaries, and the general public who may benefit from NASA technologies or a stronger economy, new products, businesses, and markets from the transfer and commercialization of government technologies, services and expertise.
Success Stories: Technology transfer or commercialization success stories result from NASA partnerships or innovations that have produced an "acknowledged use or application" from the related NASA technological asset or collaboration.
Technology: A term broader than invention and will be used to describe every innovation, invention, and discovery, whether or not patentable, made in the performance of NASA work (e.g., work by NASA employees and/or work funded by NASA). This includes, but is not limited to, new processes, machines, manufactures, and compositions of matter, and improvements to, or new applications of, existing processes, machines, manufactures, and compositions of matter. This also includes new computer programs, and improvements to, or new applications of, existing computer programs, whether or not copyrightable.
Technology Readiness Level (TRL): The TRL provides a scale against which to measure the maturity of a technology. TRLs range from one, Basic Technology Research or Concept, through TRL of six (i.e., technology demonstrated in a relevant environment) to TRL of nine, Systems Test, Launch, and Operations. It is often easier to transfer and commercialize NASA technologies at mid or higher TRL levels. For additional information see NPR 7123.1, Appendix E for more information on TRL levels and technology assessment or the NASA Systems Engineering Handbook NASA/SP-2007-6105, Appendix G, for basic guidance of conducting Technology Readiness Assessments.
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