A CRADA is a written agreement created under the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-502). It allows federal agencies and non-federal partners to optimize their resources, share technical expertise and intellectual property, and speed up the commercialization of federally developed technology. A CRADA is also a means to pursue joint research and development goals for shared benefit.
The proliferation of commercial imagery analysis, geographic information system technologies, and standardized data formats, creates opportunities for collaborative R&D between the private sector and NGA to enhance national scientific and technical GEOINT capabilities. Particular emphasis is placed on R&D initiatives that are consistent with the National System for Geospatial Intelligence technical reference model and associated standards in the NSGI technical architecture, which may be found on the NGA homepage.
It is DoD policy to use technology transfer activities to strengthen the industrial base and make the best use of national scientific and technical capabilities to enhance the effectiveness of DoD forces and systems. NGA uses CRADAs for its technology partnerships, and actively seeks commercial and academic research collaborators.