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Administrator Pruitt Announces Cooperative Research and Development Agreement

03/27/2018
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON (March 27, 2018) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is announcing a recently signed Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Water-Gen.

“The goal of this research and development agreement is to advance atmospheric water generators as a viable technology for dramatically improving access to potable water during shortages or contamination events, like natural disasters or infrastructure issues,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “EPA believes in facilitating cooperative research efforts that will foster innovative solutions to pressing environmental issues, and looks forward to working with other companies and organizations on technology development efforts.”  

This CRADA is an example of EPA’s commitment to partnering with companies to find new and innovative approaches to modern environmental challenges, such as providing clean drinking water to communities affected by natural disasters or Superfund sites. EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) is working to develop relationships that allow us to test and evaluate new technologies, like the atmospheric water generators, to ensure the U.S. can employ this type of technology and provide its citizens with the highest quality air and water.

Background

The Federal Technology Transfer Act authorizes the use of a CRADA—a collaborative research partnership between an EPA lab or office and one or more external parties, such as universities, companies, governmental organizations, trade associations, and individuals. The CRADA sets the framework for the collaboration with the goal of evaluating, assessing, or develop new technology.

In August 2017, EPA’s ORD announced that it was seeking to establish a CRADA with up to four non-federal partners for the purpose of investigating the potential use of atmospheric water generators (AWGs) in “expanding the availability of water during shortages, contamination events and other interruptions of service.” In January 2018, EPA signed a CRADA with Water-Gen, a corporation developing cutting-edge AWG technology, to evaluate their GEN-350 system.

During FY17, EPA labs entered into 54 research and development agreements with outside parties, as authorized by the Federal Technology Transfer Act. That number included eight, full-scale CRADAs in which EPA scientists collaborate with their counterparts from the private sector and universities and from state and local government labs. The remainder were Material Transfer Agreements (“MTAs”), involving the transfer of data or material from one party for the research needs of the other party, and “Material CRADAs”, which are hybrid arrangements involving the transfer of data or material and joint collaboration on further research.