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Independent Research and Development Program

The NSA's Independent Research and Development Program (IR&DP) has been established to benefit future research development and production efforts by assisting vendors in the exploration of new IA technologies. NSA envisions the IR&DP as a means for decreasing the "learning curve" typically experienced by vendors as a result of their unfamiliarity with IA techniques and applications.

The goal of the IR&DP is to encourage independent research and development efforts in areas of mutual interest to both industry and NSA's IA Mission. A major element of an IR&DP is the Technical Addendum, the document that defines the scope of the work performed under the IR&DP project.

Eligibility Requirements

Vendors engaged in research and development activities intended to accomplish any of the following areas of potential interest to NSA's IA mission may be considered for IR&DP participation:

  • Enabling superior performance of future IA systems and components;
  • Reducing acquisition costs and life-cycle costs of IA systems and components;
  • Strengthening the cryptographic industrial and technological base of the United States;
  • Enhancing the industrial competitiveness of the United States; or
  • Increasing the development and promotion of efficient and effective applications of dual-use technologies.


  1. Company approaches NSA with a proposed research activity by submitting a letter of request and project description (IR&DP proposal).
  2. NSA technology cells and other organizations working the technology area review the proposal and decide if there is interest.
  3. If company's proposal is accepted, NSA and the company enter into a legal agreement.
  4. Company submits white paper to NSA at the conclusion of the research.

Date Posted: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Modified: Apr 23, 2012 | Last Reviewed: Apr 23, 2012