​​​​​​​Management System Owner:   Manager, Office of Partnerships and Technology Transfer (OPTT)

Revision:   ​ 1.4               Date:   July 17, 2020

1.0   Pu​​rpose

The purpose of the Partnerships Management System is to seamlessly and efficiently facilitate the formation of high-impact partnerships with industry, academia, and other research facilities, that support the global, scientific missions of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL) while advancing U.S. Competitiveness through the transfer of knowledge and technologies to U.S. industry.  The Partnerships Management System consists of a set of policies, procedures and work instructions that are used to plan, direct, control, coordinate, assure and improve the execution of the elements of the laboratory's technology transfer responsibilities in accordance with DOE Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359 (Contract) and relevant Department of Energy (DOE) orders and guidance.

2.0   Roles and Responsibi​​​lities

The formation of high impact partnerships is a line management responsibility that starts with the Laboratory Directory and extends to the individual team members who participate in the laboratory's partnership and technology transfer programs.  The Partnerships Management System consists of several, cross-functional business processes that must interface effectively with other Management Systems.  The Head, Office of Partnerships and Technology Transfer (OPTT), has overall responsibility for establishing and administering the Partnerships Management System.

Title Responsibilities
Laboratory Director
  • Clearly establish technology transfer as a mission for the laboratory, in accordance with the Contract and other regulatory requirements, through policy guidance and other communications.
  • Provide the resources necessary for the successful execution of the technology transfer mission.
  • Sign or delegate signature authority for Partnering Agreements with domestic and international partners, consistent with identified risks.
  • Establish foreign engagement policies and oversee the processes for Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and international science and technology (S&T) agreements.
Head, Technology Engagements
  • Sign Partnering Agreements and modifications with domestic and international Partners, as delegated by the Laboratory Director
  • Secure and allocate resources needed to support successful execution of the Partnerships Management System.
  • Establish and oversee the industry engagement and technology development program for the laboratory
Chief Laboratory Officers and Deputies
  • Promote economic development and the transfer of technology as a mission responsibility, in accordance with laboratory policy.
  • Secure and allocate resources needed to support successful execution of the Partnerships Management System.
D/S/P Heads
  • Line management responsibility for executing the technology transfer mission and Partnerships Management System within their respective organizations, in accordance with the contract requirements and published procedures.
  • Provide employees with the necessary guidance, knowledge, training, and tools to fully participate in the technology transfer initiatives at the laboratory, including protection of intellectual property.
All Employees
  • Disclose and seek protection for intellectual property in accordance with current laboratory policies.
  • Secure approval for any outside employment in accordance with current laboratory policies and report any Conflicts of Interest with outside Partners and/or Licensees.
  • Execute assigned responsibilities with regards to the establishment and performance of Partnering Agreements.
  • Protect FRA Business Sensitive Information, Third Party Proprietary Information, and Protected Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) Information as defined by lab policy, non-disclosure agreements or other partnering agreements.
Head, OPTT
  • Ensure the efficient, effective, and full deployment of the Partnerships Management System.
  • Manage the processes of forming, reviewing, and approving all legally-binding agreements with external partners, including but not limited, to Strategic Partnership Projects (SPP), CRADAs, User Agreements, Project Annexes, and licensing agreements.
  • Sign Partnering Agreements and modifications with domestic and international Partners, as delegated by the Laboratory Director.
  • Support the Laboratory Director with regards to MOUs and international S&T agreements.
  • Manage all statutory functions of the Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA), including patent, copyright, and licensing management, and pre-publication review of scientific publications for intellectual property.
  • Represent the laboratory with external stakeholders including other technology transfer, innovation, and economic development organizations.
Partnership Coordinators (OPTT)
  • Manage the development, review, and approval processes for new Partnering Agreements and modifications in accordance with contract requirements and published procedures.
  • Identify and resolve any issues associated with mission alignment, conflict of interest, fairness of opportunity, intellectual property, export control or U.S. competitiveness.
Patent & Licensing Agents (OPTT)
  • Perform intellectual property reviews of all publications, presentations, posters, articles, photos, videos, or any other media prior to public disclosure.
  • Support the Partnership Coordinators to ensure intellectual property is effectively addressed in all Partnering Agreements
  • Support inventors in the development and submission of Records of Invention (ROIs).
  • Manage the process of seeking intellectual property protection through patents and copyrights, including management of external patent counsel resources.
  • Negotiate licenses with external parties.
Office of General Counsel (OGC)
  • Review and approve all MOUs, Partnering Agreements, and licensing agreements for consistency with the Contract, DOE Orders, and the Fermi Research Alliance (FRA) risk profile.
  • Provide legal opinions and assist with the resolution of legal issues, including but not limited to, intellectual property management, liability and indemnity, foreign engagement, and conflicts of interest.
Head, Sponsored Programs & Corporate Accounting, Finance Section (SPCA)
  • Manage invoicing of costs incurred and receipt of payments for all technology transfer and licensing agreements, including Joint Appointment agreements for Fermilab researchers with university appointments.
  • Authorize the start of work on newly funded Agreements, monitor expenditure, and issue "stop work" orders when funds are not sufficient.
​Budget Officer, Finance Section
  • ​Review and validate DOE In-kind contributions to CRADAs and other collaboration agreements.
  • ​Develop guidance and oversee the process for tracking and reporting DOE In-kind contributions.
​Environment, Safety, and Health Section (ESH)
  • ​Perform the required ESH reviews for each Partnering Agreement to ensure compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and other Fermilab Environment, Safety, and Health Manual (FESHM) requirements.
Office of Information Resources (Publications Officer)
  • ​Coordinate the pre-publication review of presentations and publications, including intellectual property reviews.
  • Ensure that publications, abstracts, and reports are submitted to the Office of Science and Technology Information (OSTI)
​Export/Import Control Compliance Manager (ECCM)
  • ​Perform all reviews related to export control for all Partnering Agreements and document the results
  • Provide expert advice to all laboratory personnel regarding export/import control and other foreign engagement policies
​Workforce Development and Resources Section (WDRS)
  • ​Provide assistance on matters involving personal or financial conflicts of interest or outside employment
  • Maintain the procedures and oversee the Joint Appointment agreement processes for the laboratory
​Procurement Department, Finance Section
  • ​Provide assistance on matters involving fairness of opportunity, organizaitonal conflict of interest, and subcontracts
  • Execute Joint Appointment (JA) agreements for establishing a Fermilab appointment for a university researcher

3.0   Primary Requ​​irements

3.1   M&O Contract

  • DOE Prime Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359 for the Management and Operation of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), specifically:
    • Primary Technology Transfer Requirements are contained in Clauses I-95, I.104 through I.110, Appendix A Section X, and Appendix I
    • Other Key Requirements are contained in Clause I.74, I.91, I.101, I.102, I.117, and Appendix J
  • Contract deliverables are monitored through the Contract Deliverables Database.  There are two annual planning requirements that are met through the development of Section 5 of the Annual Lab Plan and two annual reporting requirements that are met by responding to the annual DOE Data Call.  All other contract deliverables are situational and are provided to DOE as requested by the Contracting Officer.

3.2   Fermilab Performance Evaluation and Measurement Plan (PEMP)

  • Goal 4.3: Leadership of External Engagements and Partnerships

  • Goal 6.0: Provide Efficient, Effective, and Responsive Business Systems and Resources that Enable the Successful Achievement of the Laboratory Mission(s);

    • Objective 6.5: Demonstrate Effective Transfer of Knowledge and Technology and the Commercialization of Intellectual Assets

3.3   Other Required DOE Orders and Instructions

  • DOE Policy 481.1 "DOE's Policy Regarding Laboratories, Plants and Sites Engaging in Strategic Partnership Projects with Other Federal Agencies, Independent Organizations, and the Private Sector (Issued 12-17-2014)
  • DOE Order 481.1E "Strategic Partnership Projects [Formerly Known as Work for Others (Non-Department of Energy Funded Work)]" (Issued 12-20-2018; Updated 12/13/2019)
  • DOE Order 483.1B "DOE Cooperative Research and Development Agreements" (Issued: 12-20-2016; Revised: 12/13/2019)
  • DOE Policy 485.1A "Foreign Engagements with DOE National Laboratories" (Issued 12/13/2019)
  • Deputy Secretary of Energy Memorandum regarding "Department of Energy International Science and Technology Engagement Policy" (Issued: 12/14/2018)
  • Secretary of Energy Memorandum regarding "Science and Technology Risk Matrix Guidance" (Issued: 12/13/2019)
  • Fermilab Governance Management System Policy #2017-05 "Policy on International Engagement" (Approved: 1/21/2020)
  • DOE Order 522.1A Pricing of Departmental Materials and Services (Issued: 8/2/2018)
  • DOE Waiver No. W(C)-2008-003 "Class Patent Waiver for Designated Non-Proprietary User Facilities"
  • DOE Waiver No. W(C)-2011-009 "Class Patent Waiver for Third-Party Sponsors" 

4.0   Managem​​​ent System Description

The objective of the Partnerships and Technology Transfer Program is to seamlessly and efficiently facilitate the formation of high-impact partnerships with industry, academia, and other research facilities, that support the global, scientific missions of the laboratory while advancing U.S. Competitiveness through the transfer of knowledge and technologies to U.S. industry.

The purpose of the Partnerships Management System is to establish the policies, processes, and procedures for planning, executing, evaluating, and improving performance, in accordance with the requirements of the Contract.

4.1   Key Functions/Se​​rvices and Processes

The Partnerships Management System comprises the following major functions, which have been organized into a series of procedures that are currently under development:

Procedure Series Function Description
M12-1000Partnership PlanningThis series of procedures documents the processes and requirements related to early stage partnership planning, such as providing letters of support or commitment to Partners who are seeking grant funding from the DOE Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program or grant programs from other agencies.
M12-2000Partnering Agreements This series of procedures documents the processes and requirements related to the formation and execution of legally binding agreements with Partners, including but not limited to Strategic Partnership Projects (SPP), Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), and User Facility Agreements.
​M12-2500​Non-Proprietary User Agreements​This series of procedures documents the processes for establishing Non- Proprietary User Agreements (NPUAs) with universities or other research organizations outside of DOE, including procedures for establishing User Financial Accounts. 
M12-3000International AgreementsThis series of procedures documents the processes and requirements related to establishing MOUs, International S&T Agreements, and Project Annexes for the purpose of supporting international scientific collaborations.
M12-4000Intellectual Property ManagementThis series of procedures documents the processes and requirements related to protecting intellectual property, including patents, copyrights, pre- publication reviews, and the proper use of DOE patent waivers in Partnering Agreements.
M12-5000Licensing and CommercializationThis series of procedures documents the processes and requirements related to transferring intellectual property to the private sector, including licensing agreements, royalty income, technology maturation, and entrepreneurial leaves of absence.
M12-6000Performance ManagementThis series of procedures documents the processes and requirements related to full-life-cycle management of the Performance Management process, including the annual institutional planning process, budget planning, the Performance Evaluation Management Plan (PEMP), and the identification, collection and reporting of performance metrics.
M12-7000Reviews, Audits, and Continuous ImprovementThis series of procedures documents the processes and requirements related to performing self-assessments of the Partnership Management System, participating in internal or external reviews and audits, responding to findings, developing corrective actions, and engaging in continuous improvement.


5.0   Policies

  • Policy on Partnerships
  • Policy on Memoranda of Understanding
  • Policy on International Engagement
  • Policy on Foreign-Government Talent-Recruitment Programs
  • Policy on Export Control
  • Policy on Photography of Technical Systems
  • Code of Business Ethics and Conduct
  • Intellectual Property Policy

6.0   Key Processes, Procedures, and Manuals

  • Partnerhips Management System Procedures

  • FESHM 8060: National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Review Program

7.0   Collaboration and Communication Mechanisms

  • Several weekly meetings provide a forum for sharing information and raising issues, including the Senior Management Meeting and the International Team Meeting.
  • Monthly Management System Owner (MSO) Working Group Meetings provide a forum for sharing issues and corrective actions
  • Bi-Weekly Partnerships & Technology Transfer Meeting with OPTT, SPCA, and OGC are used to track progress on agreements and identify issues and solutions
  • Monthly Joint Partnerships Meeting with Fermi Site Office (FSO) are used to provide DOE with continuous visibility
  • Bi-Monthly Invention Disclosure Committee (IDC) Meetings are used as input to the patent election process

8.0   Contractor Assurance Requirements

8.1   Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

DOE collects information on 80 data elements that are relevant to Partnerships and Technology Transfer on an annual basis.  Metrics include number of agreements with small businesses; number of invention disclosures and patents; number of new licenses and start-up companies; licensing revenues, and many others. OPTT uses a subset of these metrics to measure the growth in Partnerships and Technology Transfer program at Fermilab, which are a good measure of activity levels and trends, but which do not provide an adequate measure of impact.  This has been identified as a major improvement opportunity for the Partnership Management System

8.2   Assessments

Many of the transactions associated with the Partnerships Management System are reviewed and approved by the Department of Energy as they occur. These include:

  • All Partnering Agreements (SPP and CRADA) are reviewed and approved by the Fermi Site Office.
  • All International Agreements are reviewed and approved by the Fermi Site Office, Chicago Integrated Support Center, and DOE Headquarters.
  • All patent and copyright elections are reviewed and approved by the DOE Chicago Legal Office.

The Office of Partnerships and Technology Transfer (OPTT) meets with the Fermi Site Office on a monthly basis for a formal discussion of Partnering Agreements and any other matters pertaining to the Partnerships Management System. Additional discussions and meetings are scheduled as needed to discuss specific issues or concerns.

Maturity assessments of the Partnership Management System are completed every two years.

An assessment schedule has been established to review all aspects of the Partnership Management System over a four-year period, with one assessment scheduled each year. At least one external assessment must be performed during that four year cycle.  

The laboratory does participate in ad hoc reviews by the DOE, IG, GAO, FRA, and other organizations. The Manager, OPTT is responsible for coordinating the responses to any findings from these reviews and audits.

8.3   Approach to Issues Management

All issues are posted, assigned, and tracked through iTrack.

8.4   Lessons Learned

8.5   Risk Management

Risks/assessments monitored by:

  • Self-Assessment Program
  • iTrack Procedures and Risk Assignment
  • Corrective Action Plans – in iTrack
  • Effectiveness Reviews – in iTrack

9.0   Required Reports and Records

9.1   Required Records 

  • Records of its technology transfer activities in a manner and to the extent satisfactory to the DOE and specifically including, but not limited to, the licensing agreements, assignments and the records required to demonstrate compliance with the Fairness of Opportunity, U.S. Industrial Competitiveness, and Disposition of Income provisions of the Prime Contract.
  • Records for the accumulation of costs and billing of work for all funds-in or cost-shared Partnering Agreements to ensure that DOE's appropriated funds are not used in support of Partner activities and to provide an accounting of the expenditures to DOE and the Partner upon request.
  • Summary listing of project information for each active Partnering Agreement, consisting of Partner name, total estimated costs, project title and description, project point of contact, and estimated start and completion dates.
  • Records related to Subject Inventions and Copyrighted Works (other than scientific and technical articles and data produced under a CRADA), including all Records of Invention and supporting documentation.
  • Records, available for inspection by DOE, of software distributed as Open Source Software (OSS). 

9.2   Required Reports

The following reports are required on an annual basis, in accordance with the contract:

  • Technology Transfer Annual Report (January)
  • Technology Transfer Plan (May)
  • Planned Uses of Royalties and Other Income (May)
  • Report on Actual Uses of Royalties and Other Income (September)
  • Statement of Royalties Paid (September)
  • Invention Utilization Report (upon DOE request)
  • Interim List of Subject Inventions (upon DOE request) 

Most of the reporting requirements are satisfied by the annual DOE Call for Technology Transfer Data, which is coordinated by the Office of the Technology Transfer Coordinator at DOE Headquarters in cooperation with the Technology Transfer Working Group (TTWG). This Annual Data Call typically occurs in or near January following fiscal year end.

10.0   Extension of Management System to SDSTA (SURF)

The Partnership Management System applies identically to FRA-sponsored work in South Dakota as it does in Batavia and the same points of contact should be used.

11.0   Additional References

  • Delegation of Signature Authority (Memo Dated 6-29-2020)
  • Quality Assurance Manual (QAM)
  • DOE Order 142.3A "Unclassified Foreign Visitors and Assignments Program" (Issued 10/14/2010; updated 1/18/2017)
  • DOE Order 443.1C "Protection of Human Research Subjects" (Approved: 11/26/2019)
  • DOE Order 241.1B, Scientific and Technical Information Management (Issued 12/13/2010)
  • The Green Book, Federal Technology Transfer Legislation and Policy, prepared by the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer

12.0   Acronyms​​ and Terms

Acronym Definition
CFOChief Financial Officer.
COIPersonal or financial Conflict of Interest (COI) which could create bias or preferential treatment towards a Partner, for the personal benefit of the individual.
​CRADA ​Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, as defined in DOE Order 483.1B.
D/S/P HeadsSenior managers who are responsible for each of Fermilab's major organizations (Division, Sector, or Projects).
OCIOrganizational Conflict of Interest, which may occur when a proposed Partner has a legal relationship with the Management and Operating (M&O) Contractor for Fermilab.
OPTTOffice Partnerships and Technology Transfer, which is responsible for the legislatively mandated functions of the Office of Research and Technology Application (ORTA)
PartnerRefers to all parties who participate in the Partnership and Technology Transfer activities of the Laboratory, including CRADA Participants, WFO Sponsors, and Proprietary and Non-Proprietary Users.
Partnering AgreementRefers to any form of legally binding agreements with Partners that involve the use of Laboratory facilities, equipment, or labor, (e.g. CRADAs, WFOs, User Facility Agreements, Joint Appointment Agreements), excluding procurement instruments and licensing agreements.
CRADACooperative Research and Development Agreement, as defined in DOE Order 483.1B.
SPPStrategic Partnership Projects [formerly Work for Others (Non-Department of Energy Funded Work)], as defined in DOE Order 481.1E.