U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Aug 07, 2022

§ 17.1 - Scope.

(a) The Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, Public Law 96-480, as amended (codified at title 15 of the United States Code (U.S.C.), section 3701 et seq.) (the Stevenson-Wydler Act), sets forth a national policy to renew, expand, and strengthen cooperation among academia, Federal laboratories, labor, and industry, in forms including personnel exchanges (15 U.S.C. 3701(3)). One proven method to ensure that Federal innovations are passed to industry and the public is to encourage frequent interactions among Federal laboratories, academic institutions, and industry, including both large and small businesses. In accordance with applicable ethics regulations and Agency policies, exchanges of personnel between Federal laboratories and outside collaborators should be encouraged (15 U.S.C. 3702(5)). Models that include Federal funding, as well as those that are executed without Federal funding, are encouraged.

(b) This part implements 15 U.S.C. 3712 and provides clarification regarding the appropriate use of personnel exchanges in relation to Federal laboratory Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) under the authority of 15 U.S.C. 3710a.

(c) This part is applicable to exchanges of personnel between Federal laboratories and parties to a CRADA under 15 U.S.C. 3710a(a)(1).

§ 17.2 - Definitions.

(a) The term funding agreement shall have the meaning according to it under 35 U.S.C. 201(b).

(b) The term contractor shall have the meaning according to it under 35 U.S.C. 201(c).

(c) The term Federal laboratory shall have the meaning according to it under 15 U.S.C. 3703(4).

§ 17.3 - Exchange of Federal laboratory personnel with recipients of Federal funding.

(a) In accordance with 15 U.S.C. 3710a(b)(3)(A) and 3710a(d)(1), a Federal laboratory may provide personnel, services, property, and other resources to a collaborating party, with or without reimbursement (but not funds to non-Federal parties) for the conduct of specified research or development efforts under a CRADA which are consistent with the missions of the Federal laboratory. The existence of a funding agreement between a Federal laboratory and a contractor shall not preclude the Federal laboratory from using its authority under 15 U.S.C. 3710a to enter into a CRADA with the contractor as a collaborating party for the conduct of specified research or development efforts, where the director of the Federal laboratory determines that the technical subject matter of the funding agreement is sufficiently distinct from that of the CRADA. In no event shall a contractor which is a collaborating party transfer funds to a Federal laboratory under a CRADA using funds awarded to the contractor by that laboratory.

(b) (1) A Federal laboratory may enter into a CRADA with a contractor as a collaborating party for the purpose of exchange of personnel for the conduct of specified research or development efforts where the determination required under paragraph (a) of this section could not be made, provided that:

(i) The CRADA includes at least one collaborating party in addition to the Federal laboratory and that contractor; and

(ii) The Federal laboratory shall not provide services, property or other resources to that contractor under the CRADA.

(2) Where a Federal laboratory enters into a CRADA with a contractor under this paragraph (b), the terms of that contractor's funding agreement shall normally supersede the terms of the CRADA, to the extent that any individual terms conflict, as applied to that contractor and the Federal laboratory only.

(c) In making the determination required under paragraph (a) of this section, the director of a Federal laboratory may consider factors including the following:

(1) Whether the conduct of specified research or development efforts under the CRADA would require the contractor to perform tasks identical to those required under the funding agreement;

(2) Whether existing intellectual property to be provided by the Federal laboratory or the contractor under the CRADA is the same as that provided under, or referenced in, the funding agreement;

(3) Whether the contractor's employees performing the specified research or development efforts under the CRADA are the same employees performing the tasks required under the funding agreement; and

(4) Whether services, property or other resources contemplated by the Federal laboratory to be provided to the contractor for the specified research or development efforts under the CRADA would materially benefit the contractor in the performance of tasks required under the funding agreement.

§ 17.4 - Personnel exchanges from a Federal laboratory.

(a) For personnel exchanges in which a Federal laboratory maintains funding for Federal personnel provided to a collaborating party -

(1) in accordance with 15 U.S.C. 3710a(b)(3)(A), a Federal laboratory may exchange personnel with a collaborating party for the purposes of specified scientific or technical research towards a mutual goal consistent with the mission of the Agency, where no invention currently exists, or

(2) in accordance with 15 U.S.C. 3710a(b)(3)(C), a Federal laboratory may exchange personnel with a non-Federal collaborating party for the purposes of developing or commercializing an invention in which the Federal government has an ownership interest, including an invention made by an employee or former employee while in the employment or service of the Federal government, and such personnel exchanged may include such employee who is an inventor.

(i) Funding may be provided under a CRADA by the non-Federal collaborating party to the Federal laboratory for the participation of the Federal employee in developing or commercializing an invention, including costs for salary and other expenses, such as benefits and travel.

(ii) Royalties from inventions received through a license agreement negotiated with the Federal laboratory and paid by the Federal laboratory to an inventor who is a Federal employee are considered Federal compensation.

(3) Where an employee leaves Federal service in order to receive salary or other compensation from a non-Federal organization, a Federal laboratory may use reinstatement authority in accordance with 5 CFR 315.401, or other applicable authorities, to rehire the former Federal employee at the conclusion of the exchange.

§ 17.5 - Personnel exchanges to a Federal laboratory.

For exchanges in which a Federal laboratory provides funds for the non-federal personnel -

(a) Outside personnel with expertise in scientific commercialization may be brought in to a Federal laboratory through the Presidential Innovation Fellows program or related programs (see 5 CFR 213.3102(r)) for Entrepreneur-In-Residence programs or similar, related programs run by the General Services Administration (GSA) or other Federal Agencies.

(b) A laboratory may engage with the GSA or other relevant Agency to transfer funding for exchanged personnel, and may work with such agency to select and place Entrepreneurs-In-Residence at the laboratory for the purposes of evaluating the laboratory's technologies, and providing technical consulting to facilitate readying a technology for commercialization by an outside entity.