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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Office of Technology Transfer (OTT)
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Introduction

The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) was created after Congress passed the Federal Technology Transfer Act (FTTA) in 1986 (P.L. 99-502).  This Act requires each Federal laboratory to establish an Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA). OTT was created to perform the legally mandated ORTA functions for ARS, and was also delegated authority to administer the patent and licensing program for all intramural research conducted by USDA. The ARS technology transfer program has centralized policy and approval procedures that are managed by OTT.  One-on-one customer service is provided to intramural researchers through Technology Transfer Coordinators (TTCs) stationed in the ARS Area Offices.  The TTCs report directly to their regional Area Director.

OTT’s activities are organized into three sections located at ARS headquarters in Beltsville, MD.  The Administration and Partnerships Section conducts day-to-day operations; coordinates technology transfer policy development; executes Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), patents, and licenses; and coordinates the Agricultural Research Partnerships (ARP) Network. The Patent Section provides strategic guidance to scientists regarding patent protection for their research results. The Section is also responsible for receiving invention reports, convening three National Patent Committees (Mechanical and Measurement, Life Sciences, and Chemistry), preparing and prosecuting patent applications, and reviewing patent legal work performed by cooperator and ARS contract law firms.  The Licensing Section manages all aspects of USDA invention licensing, including the review of license applications, the negotiation of license agreements, and the monitoring of license agreements to assure compliance with agreement terms.  Licensing Program staff collect and disburse license revenues, manage international patent filings, and provide expert advice on all matters related to USDA invention licensing. The Office of Technology Transfer's organization chart can be found here.

The Forming Partnerships with the Agricultural Research Service brochure provides ready information about ARS capabilities and ways to form partnerships.

ARS's Office of Technology Transfer helps move ARS research discoveries to the marketplace.  We have a proven reputation for partnerships leading to commercial success. Our agency has formed more than 1,000 government and industry partnerships. We have also entered into more than 200 active license agreements with businesses.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Administration & Partnerships Section

The Administrative Section conducts day-to-day operations, coordinates technology transfer policy development, and executes Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), patents, and licenses.

Mojdeh Bahar
Assistant Administrator
Mojdeh.Bahar@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-6905
Fax: (301) 504-5060

Dr. Robert Griesbach
Deputy Assistant Administrator
Robert.Griesbach@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-6905
Fax: (301) 504-5060

Kate Baker
Management Analyst
Kate.Baker@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-6905
Fax: (301) 504-5060

Melissa Repoza
Program Support Assistant
Melissa.Repoza@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-6905
Fax: (301) 504-5060

Sina Fisher
Office Administrative Assistant
Sina.Fisher@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-6786
Fax: (301) 504-5060

Partnership Section

Agricultural Research Partnerships (ARP) Network

USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) founded the ARP Network in an effort to expand the impact of ARS research and provide resources to help ARS commercial partners grow.

ARS research results can provide economic and other opportunities for rural citizens, communities, and society as a whole. The combination of ARS research expertise and complementary capabilities of the ARP Network members helps to stimulate economic growth through technological advancements. The ARP Network matches business needs with ARS innovations and research capabilities and provides business assistant services to help companies and startups solve agricultural problems, develop products and create new jobs. The Network will assist ARS in creating new partnerships and in supporting existing partnerships to advance ARS research and development (R&D) and subsequent utilization, including commercialization.

Some of the ARP Network activities include:

·         Delivering research results to stakeholders

·         Matching industry needs with ARS patents and researchers for partnering

·         Providing access to ARS research expertise, facilities and equipment

·         Assisting in identifying sources of funding

·         Providing mentoring in business and manufacturing problem solving

·         Furnishing marketing assessments and business plan development assistance

·         Providing networking opportunities with other organizations

·         Coordinating events to facilitate private-public partnerships

 

The ARP Network is composed of organizations interested in agriculture-based economic development such as, but not limited to: other Federal agencies; urban, community and/or economic development groups; rural agribusiness; organizations that support farmers, agritourism and/or food processors; and capital programs for business attraction and acceleration.

A copy of the ARP network brochure can be found here. For more information contact:

Cathleen Cohn
Tech Transfer Liaison 
Cathleen.Cohn@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-4523
Fax: (301) 504-5060

Technology Transfer Agreements

Agreements with outside organizations, whether public or private, produce many direct benefits. They allow research scientists to obtain expertise, proprietary products, and information that would not otherwise be available to them. The selection of the type of agreement to use is important. It is not just a matter of choice, but often a matter of law, regulation, or policy. Different situations require specific types of agreements and actions.  ARS has a number of technology transfer agreements, such as, but not limited to, the following:

·         Confidentiality Agreement (CA) 

·         Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)

·         Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)

·         Material Transfer Research Agreement (MTRA)

 

Confidentiality Agreement (CA)

A CA, sometimes referred to as Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) perform several functions. A CA permits parties to exchange confidential information and data in order to determine whether they would like to enter into a research collaboration or license agreement. The signatories of a CA agree to not disclose technical information received from the other party.

In- Confidentiality Agreement For ARS Receiving Information

Out- Confidentiality Agreement For ARS Providing Information

Exchange- Confidentiality Agreement For Exchange of Information

Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)

A MTA is a type of confidentiality agreement that governs the transfer of research materials between two organizations.  The MTA does not transfer ownership – the materials are merely lent to the receiving scientist and the MTA sets forth the conditions of the loan by defining the rights of the provider and recipient with respect to the materials and any derivatives, as well as the purposes to which the material may be put.   Biological materials, such as reagents, cell lines, plasmids, and vectors, are the most frequently transferred materials, but MTAs may also be used for other types of materials, such as chemical compounds and even some types of data sets and software.

In- Incoming Material Transfer Agreement

Out- Outgoing Material Transfer Agreement

Exchange- Exchanging Material Transfer Agreement

Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)

The CRADA is a joint research effort with at least one non-Federal partner that has some degree of research capacity and which commits funds and/or in-kind resources to a collaborative effort with an ARS scientist.  The CRADA project is generally intended to create or optimize a commercial product, and it usually contemplates creating, securing, and licensing intellectual property related to the research effort.  A CRADA partner may be an individual company, a group of companies, an association, a university, or any combination of the preceding.  It may also include another Federal agency, but only if there is an additional partner which is not a Federal agency.   The ARS actively seeks CRADAs with small and/or minority-owned businesses.  There is no requirement to “compete” for CRADAs – ARS is free to choose any CRADA partner that meets the technology transfer needs of one of its in-house research projects.

CRADA

MTA CRADA

CRADAs benefit the ARS by:

·         Augmenting resources available to ARS scientists

·         Increasing the likelihood of licensing an ARS technology and thereby showing impact

·         Increasing impact and Agency reputation by becoming highly relevant to individual  stakeholders

·         Contributing to economic development through new product development and perhaps job-creation at companies using the program to help build their businesses

 

CRADAs benefit the partner by:  

·         Providing confidential access to ARS research capacity which can lead to competitive advantages

·         Providing access to ARS patent prosecution capacity

·         Providing a source of new, patent-protected commercial products

·         Providing the opportunity to negotiate for an exclusive patent license without giving notice in the Federal Register (and thereby inviting additional and perhaps competing license applications)

·         Providing access to the ARS network which often leads to additional business opportunities to include access to global markets 

 

Material Transfer Research Agreements (MTRA)

MTAs only allow the transfer of materials, but not engagement in joint research between the provider and the recipient of the materials.  This new agreement will serve as the authorization to conduct some joint research on the materials transferred.  Because this instrument would not convey rights to negotiate exclusive licenses to any intellectual property arising from the research, it is intended as an early stage opportunity for proof of concept that may lead to more extensive research that would be conducted under a CRADA. The MTRA was created by combining the MTA and the TFCA authorities.

MTRA

Thomas Moreland
Partnership Liaison 
Tom.Moreland@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-4838
Fax: (301) 504-5060

 


Patenting Section

The Patent Section provides strategic guidance to scientists regarding patent protection for their research results. The Section is also responsible for receiving invention reports, convening three National Patent Committees (Mechanical and Measurement, Life Sciences, and Chemistry), preparing and prosecuting patent applications, and reviewing patent legal work performed by cooperator and ARS contract law firms.

Patent Resources

Search Engine Links:

 USPTO website:    http://www.uspto.gov/
 World Intellectual Property Office website:  http://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/search.jsf
 Google Scholar:   http://scholar.google.com/
 Google Patents website:  http://www.google.com/?tbm=pts&hl=en

George Washington Carver Center
5601 Sunnyside Avenue
Beltsville, Maryland 20705

Supervisory Patent Advisor

Gail Poulos
Gail.Poulos@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-5302
(Supports South Atlantic Area scientists)


Patent Advisors

G. Byron Stover
Byron.Stover@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-4783
(Supports Beltsville Area scientists)


Evelyn Rabin
Evelyn.Rabin@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-4781
(Supports North Atlantic Area and Mid South Area scientists)


Robert Jones
Robert.Jones@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-7270
(Supports South Atlantic Area scientists


David Marks
David.Marks@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-4619


Legal Administrative Specialists

Robin McCormick, Senior Legal Administrative Specialist
Robin.McCormick@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-6532


Kelli Gantt, Legal Administrative Specialist
Kelli.Gantt@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-7269


Claudia Hedrick, Legal Administrative Specialist
Claudia.Reynolds@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (301) 504-4887


National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research
1815 North University Street
Peoria, Illinois 61604

Albert Tsui, Patent Advisor
Albert.Tsui@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (309) 681-6512 
(Supports Midwest Area and Northern Plains Area scientists)


Legal Administrative Specialist
Sheri Whitehurst, Senior Legal Administrative Specialist
Sheri.Whitehurst@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (309) 681 6513

Western Regional Research Center
800 Buchanan Street
Albany, California 94710

Patent Advisors
Elizabeth (Beth) Sampson
Elizabeth.Sampson@ars.usda.gov
(Supports Pacific West Area scientists)
Phone: (510) 559-6067


Howard Owens
Howard.Owens@ars.usda.gov
(Supports Pacific West Area scientists)
Phone: (510) 559-5731


Legal Administrative Specialist
Sonya Domingo, Senior Legal Administrative Specialist
Sonya.Domingo@ars.usda.gov
Phone: (510) 559-6067


Licensing Section

Invention Licensing- Partnering with the private sector to commercialize inventions made by USDA scientists

USDA is looking for commercial partners to develop and market inventions made by USDA scientists. A wide variety of USDA inventions are available for licensing and include patents and pending patents, plant varieties and proprietary biological materials. To apply for a license, please select the appropriate license application form below.

Select from the following license application options:

Patents and Pending Patents

Plant Varieties  

Biological Materials         

Instructions (Word | PDF)

Instructions (Word | PDF)

Instructions (Word | PDF)

Application (Word | PDF)

Application (Word | PDF)

Application (Word | PDF)

USDA, ARS, Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) is responsible for licensing USDA inventions:

  • Licensing specialists are available to speak with you about your license application.
  • License agreement terms are flexible and take into account the needs of the licensee's business plan.
  • Licenses may be nonexclusive, co-exclusive, partially exclusive or exclusive.
  • In some cases, patent rights outside of the United States may be available for  licensing.
  • USDA license agreements comply with the policy and objectives set forth in 35 USC 207-209 and 37 CFR 404.

    Additional information can be obtained by contacting:

    USDA, Agricultural Research Service
    Office of Technology Transfer
    5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Room 4-1159
    Beltsville, MD 20705-5131
    (301) 504-5989 / fax: (301) 504-5060
    E-mail: license@ars.usda.gov

    The Technology Licensing Program manages all aspects of USDA invention licensing, including the review of license applications, the negotiation of license agreements, and the monitoring of license agreements to assure compliance with agreement terms.  Licensing Program staff collect and disburse license revenues, manage international patent filings, and provide expert advice on all matters related to USDA invention licensing.

    June Blalock, Coordinator, Technology Licensing Program 
    June.Blalock@ars.usda.gov
    Phone: (301) 504-5257 
    Fax: (301) 504-5060


    Brian Nakanishi, Technology Licensing Specialist
    Brian.Nakanishi@ars.usda.gov

    Phone: (301) 504-4879
    Fax: (301) 504-5060

    Diana Tucker, Licensing Specialist
    Diana.Tucker@ars.usda.gov
    Phone: (301) 504-4878 
    Fax: (301) 504-5060

    John Gaudet, Licensing Specialist
    John.Gaudet@ars.usda.gov
    Phone: (301) 504-4558
    Fax: (301) 504-5060

    Deborah Penot, Foreign Patent Specialist
    Debbie.Penot@ars.usda.gov
    Phone: (301) 504-5003
    Fax: (301) 504-5060

  • Carla Boettinger, Program Analyst
    Carla.Boettinger@ars.usda.gov
    Phone: (301) 504-5734
    Fax: (301) 504-5060

    Gernard Little, Legal Instruments Examiner
    Gernard.Little@ars.usda.gov
    Phone: (301) 504-4780
    Fax: (301) 504-5060

    Kim Melton, Licensing Assistant
    Kim.Melton@ars.usda.gov
    Phone: (301) 504-4893
    Fax: (301) 504-5060


     


    Technology Transfer Annual Reports

    The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has been delegated authority by the Secretary of Agriculture to administer the patent program for ARS, the review of CRADAs and the technology licensing program for all intramural research conducted by USDA. Thus, the Annual Reports on Technology Transfer covers technology transfer activities and metrics for the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Forest Service (FS), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Wildlife Services (APHIS-WS), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Veterinary Services (APHIS-VS), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Plant Protection and Quarantine (APHIS-PPQ), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Biotechnology Regulatory Services (APHIS-BRS), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s International Services (APHIS-IS), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Economic Research Service (ERS), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Rural Development (RD), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), Grain inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), Food Safety and Inspection service (FSIS) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The Reports include tabular metrics of inventions, licenses, and Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, as well as a section on notable “Downstream Outcomes” and “Outreach, Workshops, Field Days & Forums Activities.” These Outcomes and Activities reflect the breadth of mechanisms used by USDA to effect technology transfer, as well as the breadth of scope in addressing issues for the agriculture sector.

    In 2011, the White House issued the Presidential Memorandum – Accelerating Technology Transfer and Commercialization of Federal Research in Support of High-Growth Businesses.  Issuance of this Memorandum provided an unprecedented opportunity for unifying technology transfer across USDA S&T agencies as the mechanism to deliver these outcomes for public good. In the USDA’s response to the Presidential Memorandum, several initiatives were identified to promote technology transfer and commercialization.  Beginning with the FY2012 Annual Report on Technology Transfer, USDA will begin to report, when possible, on these initiatives. Specifics are provided in agency sections within this report.

    * The entire USDA Report includes multiple agencies and is found on the USDA link.

    * The ARS section of the Report is found on the ARS link.  

      

     

    FY 2012

    USDA   ARS

     

    FY 2011

    USDA/ARS

     

     

    FY 2010

    USDA/ARS

     

    FY 2009

    USDA/ARS

     

    FY 2008

    USDA/ARS

     

     

    FY 2007     FY 2006     FY 2005     FY 2004     FY 2003     FY 2002     FY 2001


    Available Technologies

    Each year, approximately 60 new patents are issued by the U.S. Patent Office for USDA inventions. The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) transfers these inventions through licenses to the private sector for commercialization. Below are links to technologies that are available for licensing. Please contact OTT licensing staff for more information on a specific invention.

    Animal Health

    BioEnergy

    Crop Production

    Crop Protection

    Environment

    Food Processing & Products

    Plant Genes

    New Materials

     


    Awards

    OTT Training

    Last Modified: 4/8/2014