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DOE AND U.S. COMPUTER COMPANIES AGREE ON MODEL FOR COOPERATIVE R&D

DOE AND U.S. COMPUTER COMPANIES AGREE ON MODEL FOR COOPERATIVE R&D
 /ADVANCE/ WASHINGTON, March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Department of Energy (DOE) and a group representing 12 computer firm chief executive officers have signed a letter of agreement that will facilitate cooperation between the private sector and national laboratories in computer research and development. President Bush announced the agreement today at the White House.
 "Cooperation between the U.S. computer industry and national laboratories can both help increase the competitiveness of this critical industry and help our labs achieve their research objectives and their technology transfer mission," Secretary of Energy James D. Watkins said in describing the agreement.
 The Computer Systems Policy Project (CSPP) members are: Apple Computer, AT&T, COMPAQ, Control Data, Cray Computer, Data General, Digital Equipment, Hewlett-Packard, International Business Machines, Sun Microsystems, Tandem Computers and Unisys.
 The letter includes a model Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) that can be used by federal laboratories and U.S.- based computer companies, whether or not they are members of CSPP, to help negotiate a specific agreement for a computer hardware or software R&D project.
 "When we began working on this project over a year ago, we determined that one of the most significant obstacles to working with the National Labs was the time it takes to negotiate a research agreement," said Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, Inc. "The ability to negotiate research agreements quickly is a top priority in an industry like ours where product life cycles are very short and technologies can become obsolete almost overnight."
 "This agreement will greatly simplify the review of individual CRADAs because a number of common issues have been discussed and settled up front," Watkins said. "I believe this will speed the signing of agreements."
 Important topics covered in the model CRADA include: product liability, software development and U.S. economic benefits.
 DOE laboratories involved in the discussions are: Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.
 While DOE labs have signed over 90 CRADAs to date on other research topics, few have involved computer R&D. The letter of agreement and model CRADA will assist national laboratories to carry out their technology transfer mission, making R&D advances available for commercialization by computer companies.
 DOE laboratories have developed expertise in state-of-the-art scientific computing because many of the agency's forefront research problems require massive computing power. This expertise is used in research in areas such as nuclear weapons design, global climate modeling, biosciences, engine design, and plasma and high energy physics.
 Under a CRADA, both the government laboratory and a private company may provide personnel, services, facilities or equipment to conduct the R&D. The company may also provide funds; the laboratory does not provide any funding to the company.
 The letter of agreement also represents a step by DOE to meet the goals of the government's High Performance Computing and Communications Program. The program's purpose is to accelerate significantly the commercial availability and use of the next generation of high performance computers and networks. DOE is one of seven agencies working to implement the program.
 -0- 3/20/92/1600
 /CONTACT: Jeff Sherwood of the U.S. Department of Energy, 202-586-5806; or Michele Norman for the Computer Systems Policy Project, 202-662-8407/ CO: U.S. Department of Energy; Computer Systems Policy Project ST: District of Columbia IN: CPR SU:


MH -- DC019 -- 0186 03/20/92 15:24 EST
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Date:Mar 20, 1992
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