Action Steps for Work For Others (WFO) Agreements
An outline of the steps to follow when laboratories undertake work for industry sponsors.
|Step||National Laboratory||Both||Industry Sponsor|
|1||Researchers discuss ideas, identify mutual interest, draft scope of work|
|2||Determine contract considerations||Identify corporate support|
|3||Complete appropriate project information forms (PIFs) for DOE review/approval; draft WFO agreement||Draft Statement of Work w/milestones, etc.|
|4||Submit PIFs to DOE Operations Office; send draft WFO agreement to sponsor||Review WFO Agreement|
|5||Operations Office approval of PIF||Review of WFO terms and conditions and complete negotiations|
|6||Develop and distribute final WFO agreement||Review final WFO agreement|
|7||Obtain Laboratory, DOE Operations, and sponsor approval as required|
|8||Execute WFO agreement|
Keys to Successful Implementations
- Laboratory and industry principal investigators responsible for the technical effort communicate early.
- Laboratory and industry technology transfer staff responsible for coordinating overall activity communicate early.
- All parties agree on funding levels and sources before starting the WFO process.
- The "time of negotiations" depends on several important factors: (1) normally, no U.S. competitiveness clause; (2) normally, intellectual property rights go to the sponsor; otherwise, national laboratory retains intellectual property rights; (3) If sponsor is subcontracting federal funds to the national laboratory, then normally industry does not obtain intellectual property rights.
- Other considerations: (1) product, general and intellectual property indemnification, (2) advance payment (only waived for states with constitutional prohibition), (3) national laboratory cannot accept another federal or state agency "flow-down" terms when industry sponsor is using public funds, (4) national laboratory cannot compete with private sector (sponsor attests), (5) FAR does not apply since the national laboratory is doing a third-party agreement.