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Technology Commercialization and Partnerships

User Facility Agreements

Accessing Argonne’s world-class tools

Argonne hosts several large and unique research facilities that can be used by industry and research organizations to significantly advance their research projects, providing a level of research and analysis that is out of the reach of most organizations.

After submission and acceptance of an application or project proposal, outside researchers can access these facilities through user agreements. A user agreement that covers liability, intellectual property, and financial matters is a prerequisite for work at any of Argonne’s user facilities. 

Establishing a User Facility Agreement

Proprietary Research

Percentages of the time at the User Facilities may be allocated for proprietary research that uses the unique capabilities to benefit the national economy. Therefore, those conducting proprietary research may access the facility as users. Full-cost recovery is obtained for proprietary research. Agreements are in place to secure appropriate intellectual property control for proprietary users to permit them to exploit their experimental results.

    Non-Collaborative Research
    • User may access the User Facility with or without limited support (non-collaborative) from Argonne personnel via a User Agreement
    • Access to the User Facility is granted in an impartial manner; a peer-reviewed proposal system may or may not be used.
    • Researchers/Users/Industry are charged for any user facility machine time” and limited support services (non-collaborative) from Argonne personnel on a full cost recovery basis.
    • Researchers/Users/Industry may keep their research results private.
    • Researchers/Users/Industry may retain title to their inventions; Government rights are extremely limited.
    Collaborative Research
    • If the experiment is proprietary and collaborative with Argonne researchers, Sponsored Research Contract Agreements such as  a Cooperative Research And Development Agreement (CRADA) (or Work-For-Others (WFO)) would be appropriate instead of the User Agreement.
    • Access to the User Facility is granted in an impartial manner; a peer-reviewed proposal system may or may not be used.

    Nonproprietary Research

    The vast majority of user research is expected to be in the public domain and thus disseminated by publication in the open literature. There is no cost to the user to access user facility capabilities to perform non-proprietary research.

    • Access to the User Facility is based on a peer-reviewed proposal process.
    • User may access the User Facility with or without collaboration of Argonne researchers.
    • The experiment is not directed towards producing a specific commercial end result (e.g., marketable product).
    • Researchers/Users/Industry are not charged for machine time” or potential agreed upon collaborative effort of Argonne researchers; users may be charged for ancillary materials, supplies, and services obtained from the User Facility.
    • Researchers/Users/Industry must intend to publish their research results in the open scientific literature. Research results are available to the public.
    • Researchers/Users/Industry may retain title to their researchers’ inventions, and Argonne retains title to its researchers’ inventions; the Government retains a royalty-free license and some oversight of utilization efforts.