Types of Technology Transfer


Contact Information:

National Security Agency

ATTN: Technology Transfer Program

9800 Savage Rd., Suite 6843
Ft. George G. Meade, MD 20755-6843



The NSA TTP transfers NSA technologies through the following vehicles:

  • Patent License Agreements
  • Open Source Software Releases
  • Cooperative Research and Development Agreements
  • Education Partnership Agreements
  • Technology Transfer Sharing Agreements

Patent License Agreements (PLA)

Title 35 United States Code (USC), sections 207-209, gives NSA the authority to grant licenses on its domestic and foreign patents and patent applications. This authority is implemented through PLAs. The goal of these licenses is to provide the private sector with the opportunity to commercially develop federally funded research to promote economic growth and global competitiveness.

Open Source Software Releases (OSS)

Releasing NSA-developed software via Open Source Software (OSS) is a collaborative model for technology transfer, inviting cooperative development of technology and encouraging broad use and adoption. The public can benefit by adopting the code, enhancing it, adapting it, or taking it into the commercial marketplace. The government can gain from the open source community's shared enhancements and advances.

Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA)

The CRADA is one of the most valuable technology transfer mechanisms for obtaining long-term value. Title 15 USC, section 3710, gives NSA the authority to enter into CRADAs to foster collaborative relationships with industry, local and state governments, and academia to obtain valuable technology transfer goals and benefits.

Education Partnership Agreements (EPA)

The purpose of an Education Partnership Agreement is to formalize the relationship between a federal lab and an educational institution. Title 10 USC, section 2194, allows NSA to share its unique experience by providing training to personnel in the science and technology fields at all education levels using EPAs.

Technology Transfer Sharing Agreements (TTSA)

TTSAs protect NSA's right to seek commercialization of technologies it owns and to effectively track the transfer of these technologies.