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Laws & Regulations

Summary of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

15 U.S.C. §3701 et seq. (1996)

The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) was signed into law on March 7, 1996.

By enacting the NTTAA into law, Congress found that it could:

  • Promote economic, environmental, and social well-being by bringing technology and industrial innovation to the marketplace.
  • Help U.S. business speed the development of new products and processes by making available federal laboratories to the private sector.
  • Foster commercialization of technology and industrial innovation by making it easier for companies to obtain exclusive licenses to inventions which result from cooperative research with the federal government.

In general, the NTTAA states that federal agencies and departments shall:

  • Use technical standards developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies if compliance would not be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impracticable; and
  • Consult with voluntary, private sector, consensus standards bodies and shall, when such participation is in the public interest and is compatible with agency and departmental missions, authorities, priorities, and budget resources, participate in the development of technical standards.

More Information

  • Additional policy guidance relating to the implementation of NTTAA is in Revised OMB Circular A-119 (January 27, 2016).
  • 15 CFR 287 contains guidance on federal conformity assessment.