Partnership Intermediary Agreement
Partnership Intermediary Agreement: Commercializing Federal Technology
The five-year Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA) between U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA) was signed on May 13, 2010 at the ARS Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, Pa.
The PIA will enhance the flow of Agricultural Research Service technologies to Pennsylvania’s small and large businesses, research institutions, and Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs). At the same time, it will help promote product development, commercialization, and economic development opportunities for Pennsylvania companies.
Under the terms of the agreement, ARS and the BFTDA will work together to increase awareness among Pennsylvania businesses about opportunities for collaborative research, licensing and commercialization of technologies developed within ARS’s national network of more than 100 research laboratories, 2,000 scientists, and extensive intellectual property portfolio.
The partnership will encourage the creation or expansion of Pennsylvania businesses to address such challenges as food security, healthy eating for human nutrition, local and urban agriculture, and bioenergy. The partnership also will create new opportunities for providing goods and services to the communities along the nation's I-95 corridor and address emerging agricultural and land management issues in the Susquehanna and Chesapeake basin.
The BFTDA is a key component in the strategy and mission of the Technology Investment Office of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). It serves as a catalyst for growth and competitiveness for Pennsylvania companies and institutions of higher education (IHEs) through technology-based economic development initiatives that include funding, partnerships and support services.
ARS is the principal intramural scientific research agency of USDA. The partnership with the BFTDA was developed under the auspices of ARS's Office of Technology Transfer (OTT). ARS is a leader in the federal government in transferring and marketing new technologies developed from its research, and has formed numerous partnerships using cooperative agreements. More information about opportunities for licensing ARS technologies is available on the ARS-OTT website at http://www.ars.usda.gov/partnering. The link to ARS technologies is at http://ars.usda.gov/main/main.htm.
For a brief one page explanation of the Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA), please click here.
How does DCED plan to implement the PIA?
DCED will provide timely information through the PIA webpage and to stakeholders for implementation of the PIA.
What is ATIP and how is membership in ATIP formalized?
The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has established the “Agricultural Technology Innovation Partnership” program (ATIP) with a few select local / state / regional economic development organizations to create and enhance opportunities for private sector partnerships. This is accomplished through licensing of ARS technologies, and/or through establishing Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) with companies that can successfully commercialize ARS innovations. The overarching goal of ATIP is to increase the likelihood that ARS research outcomes are adopted by private sector firms and to increase impact and recognition of ARS research programs. Current ARS licensing and CRADA polices and processes are not affected by this program.
Membership in ATIP is formalized with a PIA executed by the Office of Technology Transfer on behalf of ARS. PIAs are specifically authorized by federal statute as a technology transfer instrument. Currently, only the Department of Defense and ARS are utilizing PIAs in an orchestrated manner.
Who are the ATIP members?
There are nine economic development partners nationwide chosen to enter into a technology transfer partnership with ARS as part of the Agricultural Technology Innovation Partnership program network. ARS has similar agreements with the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, the Mississippi Technology Alliance, the Wisconsin Security Research Consortium, the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds, and the Georgia Research Alliance, California Association for Local Economic Development, the Kansas Bioscience Authority, and the Center for Innovation at Arlington, TX.
What is the ARS strategy for building ATIP membership and directing activities?
ATIP is envisioned as providing an efficient network to ARS with each member serving as a conduit to a greater number of local (e.g., county, city), state, or regional organizations, including venture capitalists and angel investors. Because of the ARS need for regional access to private sector companies and resources, and the eight Area structure of ARS, ATIP is likely to have optimal effectiveness with 8 economic development‐based “ATIP Partners”, strategically distributed across the country with each anchored in an Area of ARS. An additional Partner representing a national perspective on entrepreneurship and innovation‐based business investment would complete the 9 ATIP Partners (“portals”). This would optimize efficiency of information exchange and Partner stewardship.
What are ATIP Associates?
ARS may add other economic development entities at its discretion as “ATIP Associate” members that are linked principally to one of the 9 ATIP Partners. Licensees or CRADA partnerships (specific businesses or research relationships) that are facilitated by the PIAs become “ATIP affiliates” in the program.
ARS envisions utilizing the ATIP Partners (a) to co‐sponsor events whereby ARS technologies and research capabilities will be showcased, thereby increasing the opportunities for technology transfer partnerships; (b) to provide technology‐readiness assessments and business plan development of select existing technologies in ARS (protected intellectual property) to create “Partnering Opportunity” documents for distribution and action among ATIP members; and (c) to link to entrepreneur schools (colleges and universities) and small business development centers to facilitate partnerships with ARS. All Partners are expected to have direct access ‐‐ or members with direct access ‐‐ to fiscal resources that can support the research partnerships of businesses with ARS.
Are there any state agencies cooperating with DCED to implement the PIA?
Yes. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation of Natural Resources are involved in implementing the PIA. Other state agencies may become involved in the future.
Signing of the Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA), May 13, 2010.