TTP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Collapse All Expand All

Technology transfer is the exchange of federally funded knowledge, research, and capabilities between government, academia, and industry to fulfill public and private needs.

Technology transfer is important for several reasons:

  • Ensures the best use of taxpayer contributions to federal R&D

  • Pushes inventors to continually create innovative technologies

  • Enables the private sector to gain access to competitive technologies available for commercial use

  • Allows the public to benefit from government-developed technologies through the creation of new jobs and commercial products

An important result of technology transfer is an increase in economic stability and national security—benefits that affect us all.

The NSA TTP began in 1990.

You can contact our office via email.

The NSA TTP enables the transfer of NSA technology through a variety of partnership agreements with businesses, colleges and universities, and other government agencies.


Collapse All Expand All

A patent assigns exclusive rights to an inventor’s intellectual property for a limited period of time. It’s important to patent to prevent others from profiting or otherwise benefiting from an inventor’s original work. Patents are granted and publicly disclosed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

A PLA is an agreement that allows businesses to license patented NSA technology for their own use or further development.

Small businesses, large corporations, curious investors—anyone who is interested in licensing NSA technologies-- benefit from a PLA.

After browsing the Patent Portfolio and developing a marketing plan, contact us to discuss your options.


Collapse All Expand All

The NSA TTP offers the following partnership opportunities: Patent License Agreement (PLA), Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), Education Partnership Agreement (EPA), Technology Transfer Sharing Agreement (TTSA), and Open Source Software (OSS) releases.

An EPA is an agreement between NSA and an education institution to transfer or enhance technology and provide technical assistance to the institution. Under an EPA, NSA innovators can provide training and mentoring to personnel in the science and technology fields. NSA may also transfer or donate laboratory equipment to public and private schools as well.

A CRADA is an agreement between a federal laboratory and a non-federal party that protects proprietary information during collaborative R&D in any area that is consistent with the federal laboratory’s mission. CRADAs define and formalize interactions and partnerships with private industry.

Most CRADAs are one-on-one partnerships with specifically defined Joint Work Plans. The NSA Technology Transfer Program (TTP) executes all CRADAs for NSA and manages the agreement process.

A TTSA is an agreement that allows NSA to transfer technology to other government agencies while protecting its rights to seek commercialization and to track the transfer of these technologies.

OSS releases are unclassified technologies developed by NSA innovators that are available for public use. The collaborative model enables NSA to benefit from the open-source community’s feedback and enhancements to the technologies.

NSA OSS releases can be found at and on NSA Github.