Partnering with Fermilab



Under a Non-Proprietary User Agreement (NPUA), researchers who engage in non-proprietary research are able to access Fermilab’s unique scientific User Facilities without paying a user fee. Under this agreement:

  • Users commit to publishing research results in the open literature
  • Users retain the right to elect title to their own inventions
  • Department of Energy retains unlimited rights in generated data

Users are responsible for their own experimental costs. Fermilab provides users with resources sufficient to conduct work safely and efficiently. Users may access additional services, such as housing, travel, or stock room supplies, by establishing User Accounts.

Effective October 1, 2015, a Non-proprietary User Agreement (NPUA), signed by the appropriate institutional officer at the User Institution, is required before individual users can work on-site at Fermilab on experiments that are associated with the Fermilab Accelerator Complex or the CMS Center at Fermilab.

Click here to download a copy of Fermilab’s standard Non-Proprietary User Agreement.


Strategic Partnership Project (SPP) agreements, formerly referred to as Work for Others (WFO), provide an excellent way for companies, universities, and other institutions to access the unique facilities, technologies, and expertise available at Fermilab on a project-specific basis. Under an SPP agreement, a Partner can pay full cost recovery for unique laboratory services and receive these benefits:

  • Retain right to elect title to Subject Inventions
  • Protect generated data as proprietary
  • Opt for a limited government R&D license (certain restrictions apply)


A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) provides a way for DOE laboratories to engage in collaborative research and development agreements with both public and private entities, for the mutual benefit of both parties. Under a CRADA:

  • The Lab and the Partner may share costs or the Partner may pay the 100% of the costs
  • The Lab and the Partner may elect to own inventions
  • Partner has the right to negotiate exclusive license to Lab inventions
  • Generated data can be protected up to five years

For more information on these agreements or to obtain copies of model agreements, contact OPTT at