15 USC 3705 - Cooperative Research Centers

(a) Establishment 
The Secretary shall provide assistance for the establishment of Cooperative Research Centers. Such Centers shall be affiliated with any university, or other nonprofit institution, or group thereof, that applies for and is awarded a grant or enters into a cooperative agreement under this section. The objective of the Centers is to enhance technological innovation through
(1) the participation of individuals from industry and universities in cooperative technological innovation activities;
(2) the development of the generic research base, important for technological advance and innovative activity, in which individual firms have little incentive to invest, but which may have significant economic or strategic importance, such as manufacturing technology;
(3) the education and training of individuals in the technological innovation process;

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(4) the improvement of mechanisms for the dissemination of scientific, engineering, and technical information among universities and industry;
(5) the utilization of the capability and expertise, where appropriate, that exists in Federal laboratories; and
(6) the development of continuing financial support from other mission agencies, from State and local government, and from industry and universities through, among other means, fees, licenses, and royalties.
(b) Activities 
The activities of the Centers shall include, but need not be limited to
(1) research supportive of technological and industrial innovation including cooperative industry-university research;
(2) assistance to individuals and small businesses in the generation, evaluation, and development of technological ideas supportive of industrial innovation and new business ventures;
(3) technical assistance and advisory services to industry, particularly small businesses; and
(4) curriculum development, training, and instruction in invention, entrepreneurship, and industrial innovation.

Each Center need not undertake all of the activities under this subsection.

(c) Requirements 
Prior to establishing a Center, the Secretary shall find that
(1) consideration has been given to the potential contribution of the activities proposed under the Center to productivity, employment, and economic competitiveness of the United States;

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(2) a high likelihood exists of continuing participation, advice, financial support, and other contributions from the private sector;
(3) the host university or other nonprofit institution has a plan for the management and evaluation of the activities proposed within the particular Center, including:
(A) the agreement between the parties as to the allocation of patent rights on a nonexclusive, partially exclusive, or exclusive license basis to and inventions conceived or made under the auspices of the Center; and
(B) the consideration of means to place the Center, to the maximum extent feasible, on a self-sustaining basis;
(4) suitable consideration has been given to the universitys or other nonprofit institutions capabilities and geographical location; and
(5) consideration has been given to any effects upon competition of the activities proposed under the Center.
(d) Planning grants 
The Secretary is authorized to make available nonrenewable planning grants to universities or nonprofit institutions for the purpose of developing a plan required under subsection (c)(3) of this section.
(e) Research and development utilization 
In the promotion of technology from research and development efforts by Centers under this section, chapter 18 of title 35 shall apply to the extent not inconsistent with this section.