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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of September 29, 2014

Title 10Chapter IISubchapter HPart 603 → Subpart B


Title 10: Energy
PART 603—TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENT AGREEMENTS


Subpart B—Appropriate Use of Technology Investment Agreements


Contents
§603.200   Contracting officer responsibilities.
§603.205   Nature of the project.
§603.210   Recipients.
§603.215   Recipient's commitment and cost sharing.
§603.220   Government participation.
§603.225   Benefits of using a TIA.
§603.230   Fee or profit.

§603.200   Contracting officer responsibilities.

Contracting officers may use a TIA only in appropriate situations. To do so, the use of a TIA must be justified based on:

(a) The nature of the project, as discussed in §603.205;

(b) The type of recipient, addressed in §603.210;

(c) The recipient's commitment and cost sharing, as described in §603.215;

(d) The degree of involvement of the Government program official, as discussed in §603.220; and

(e) The contracting officer's judgment that the use of a TIA could benefit the RD&D objectives in ways that likely would not happen if another type of instrument were used (i.e., a contract, grant or cooperative agreement is not feasible or appropriate). Answers to the four questions in §603.225 form the basis for the contracting officer's judgment.

§603.205   Nature of the project.

Judgments relating to the nature of the project include:

(a) The principal purpose of the project is to carry out a public purpose of support or stimulation of RD&D (i.e., assistance), rather than acquiring goods or services for the benefit of the Government (i.e., acquisition);

(b) To the maximum extent practicable, the TIA does not support RD&D that duplicates other RD&D being conducted under existing programs carried out by the DOE; and

(c) The use of a standard contract, grant or cooperative agreement for the project is not feasible or appropriate (see questions in §603.225).

§603.210   Recipients.

(a) A TIA requires one or more for-profit firms, not acting in their capacity as the contractor of a FFRDC, to be involved either in the:

(1) Performance of the RD&D project; or

(2) The commercial application of the results.

(i) In those cases where there is only a non-profit performer or a consortium of non-profit performers or non-profit performers and FFRDC contractors, if and as authorized, the performers must have at least a tentative agreement with a specific for-profit partner or partners who plan on being involved in the commercial application of the results.

(ii) In consultation with legal counsel, the contracting officer should review the agreement between the performers and their for-profit partner to ensure that the for-profit partner is committed to being involved in the commercial application of the results.

(b) A TIA may be particularly useful for awards to consortia (a consortium may include one or more for-profit firms, as well as State or local government agencies, institutions of higher education, other nonprofit organizations, or FFRDC contractors, if and as authorized) because:

(1) If multiple performers are participating as a consortium, they may be more equal partners in the performance of the project than usually is the case with a prime recipient and subrecipients. All of the performers are more likely to be directly involved in developing and revising plans for the RD&D effort, reviewing technical progress, and overseeing financial and other business matters. That feature makes consortia well suited to building new relationships among performers in the technology base, a principal objective for the use of a TIA.

(2) In addition, interactions among the participants within a consortium potentially provide a self-governance mechanism. The potential for additional self-governance is particularly good when a consortium includes multiple for-profit participants that normally are competitors within an industry.

(c) A TIA may be used for carrying out RD&D performed by single firms or multiple performers (e.g., a teaming arrangement) in prime award-subaward relationships. In awarding a TIA in those cases, however, consideration should be given to providing for greater involvement of the program official or a way to increase self-governance (e.g., a prime award with multiple subawards arranged so as to give the subrecipients more insight into and authority and responsibility for the programmatic and business aspects of the overall project than they usually have).

§603.215   Recipient's commitment and cost sharing.

(a) The contracting officer should evaluate whether the recipient has a strong commitment to and self-interest in the success of the project and incorporating the technology into products and processes for the commercial marketplace. Evidence of that commitment and interest should be found in the proposal, in the recipient's management plan, or through other means.

(b) The contracting officer must seek cost sharing. The purpose of cost sharing is to ensure that the recipient incurs real risk that gives it a vested interest in the project's success; the willingness to commit to meaningful cost sharing is a good indicator of a recipient's self-interest. The requirements are that:

(1) To the maximum extent practicable, the non-Federal parties carrying out a RD&D project under a TIA are to provide at least half of the costs of the project; and

(2) The parties must provide the cost sharing from non-Federal resources unless otherwise provided by law.

(c) The contracting officer may consider whether cost sharing is impracticable in a given case, unless there is a statutory requirement for cost sharing that applies to the particular program under which the award is to be made. Before deciding that cost sharing is impracticable, the contracting officer should carefully consider if there are other factors that demonstrate the recipient's self-interest in the success of the current project.

§603.220   Government participation.

A TIA is used to carry out cooperative relationships between the Federal Government and the recipient(s) which require substantial involvement of the Government in the execution of the RD&D. For example, program officials will participate in recipients' periodic reviews of progress and may be substantially involved with the recipients in the resulting revisions of plans for future effort.

§603.225   Benefits of using a TIA.

Before deciding that a TIA is appropriate, the contracting officer also must judge that using a TIA could benefit the RD&D objectives in ways that likely would not happen if another type of assistance instrument were used (e.g., a cooperative agreement subject to all of the requirements of 10 CFR part 600). The contracting officer, in conjunction with Government program officials, must consider the questions in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section, to help identify the benefits that may justify using a TIA and reducing some of the usual requirements. The contracting officer must report the answers to these questions to help the DOE measure the benefits of using a TIA. Note full concise answers are required only to questions that relate to the benefits perceived for using the TIA, rather than another type of funding instrument, for the particular project. A simple “no” or “not applicable” is a sufficient response for other questions. The questions are:

(a) Will the use of a TIA permit the involvement of any commercial firms or business units of firms that would not otherwise participate in the project? If so:

(1) What are the expected benefits of those firms' or divisions' participation (e.g., is there a specific technology that could be better, more readily available, or less expensive)?

(2) Why would they not participate if an instrument other than a TIA were used? The contracting officer should identify specific provisions of the TIA or features of the TIA award process that enable their participation. For example, if the RD&D effort is based substantially on a for-profit firm's privately developed technology and the Government may be a major user of any commercial product developed as a result of the award, a for-profit firm may not participate unless the Government's intellectual property rights in the technology are modified.

(b) Will the use of a TIA allow the creation of new relationships among participants in a consortium, at the prime or subtier levels, among business units of the same firm, or between non-Federal participants and the Federal Government that will foster better technology? If so:

(1) Why do these new relationships have the potential for fostering technology that is better, more affordable, or more readily available?

(2) Are there provisions of the TIA or features of the TIA award process that enable these relationships to form? If so, the contracting officer should be able to identify specifically what they are. If not, the contracting officer should be able to explain specifically why the relationships could not be created if another type of assistance instrument were used. For example, a large business firm may not be willing to participate in a consortium or teaming arrangement with small business firms and nonprofit firms under a standard cooperative agreement because those entities have invention rights under the Bayh-Dole statute that are not available to large businesses. A large business firm may be willing to participate in a consortium or teaming arrangement only if all partners are substantially equal with regard to the allocation of intellectual property rights.

(c) Will the use of a TIA allow firms or business units of firms that traditionally accept Government awards to use new business practices in the execution of the RD&D project that will foster better technology, new technology more quickly or less expensively, or facilitate partnering with commercial firms? If so:

(1) What specific benefits result from the use of these new practices? The contracting officer should be able to explain specifically the potential for those benefits.

(2) Are there provisions of the TIA or features of the TIA award process that enable the use of the new practices? If so, the contracting officer should be able to identify those provisions or features and explain why the practices could not be used if the award were made using another type of assistance instrument.

(d) Are there any other benefits of the use of a TIA that could help DOE meet its objectives in carrying out the project? If so, the contracting officer should be able to identify specifically what they are, how they can help meet the objectives, what features of the TIA or award process enable DOE to realize them, and why the benefits likely would not be realized if an assistance instrument other than a TIA were used.

§603.230   Fee or profit.

The contracting officer may not use a TIA if any participant is to receive fee or profit. Note that this policy extends to all performers of the project, including any subawards for substantive program performance, but it does not preclude participants' or subrecipients' payment of reasonable fee or profit when making purchases from suppliers of goods (e.g., supplies and equipment) or services needed to carry out the RD&D.



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