Area of focus

Nuclear Funding Opportunities and Government R&D Agreements

Access to government funding and facilities can be key to the development of new nuclear technology. Our nuclear team helps clients navigate this specialized space.

Advances in nuclear technology typically require not only research and development (R&D) funding, but also access to specialized equipment, materials, and expertise that is available only in U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories. However, accepting government funding and working with the national laboratories can affect future commercial opportunities and intellectual property rights. We help our clients obtain funding, negotiate R&D agreements, and maximize their rights to commercialize and deploy resulting intellectual property.

Our lawyers regularly assist clients in complying with requirements for government funding for new technologies and government loan guarantees. Our team is also highly experienced in negotiating and protecting client interests under Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA), Strategic Partnership Projects, and Material Transfer Agreements with DOE and the national labs.

We have direct experience in working with all funders of nuclear technology within DOE, including under the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) and Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) programs. 

Access to specialized DOE facilities and materials can be as important as funding, and DOE templates for agreements for such access contain terms and conditions not well understood outside DOE. Because we have worked on many such agreements and with most of the 17 DOE laboratories, we are well positioned to assist clients in structuring arrangements that meet their needs while imposing the fewest burdens allowed. We can ensure that they understand the sometimes significant consequences of the terms of these specialized agreements and obtain maximum protection for resulting intellectual property.

Representative experience

Assisted the recipient of one of the first funding awards for a small modular reactor in applying for and negotiating its funding agreement with DOE.

Assisted a public power entity in negotiating a site use agreement with DOE to deploy one of the first small modular reactors at a DOE national laboratory.

Assisted developers of advanced reactor and fuel designs with DOE funding and collaboration agreements with national labs, both in bilateral arrangements and in partnership with other entities.

Advised clients on the intellectual property provisions and implications for international commercialization of new nuclear technology under R&D agreements with DOE and over a dozen of the national labs.

Assisted large utility client in applying for DOE loan guarantee for new nuclear unit at an existing site.

Advised nuclear fuel cycle clients with respect to the DOE loan guarantee program.

Advising micro-reactor client on U.S. Department of Defense funding opportunities.

Assisted clients in submitting requests for funding under DOE's ARPA-E program, including one of the 37 awardees out of more than 3,400 applicants.

Presented at DOE's annual ARPA-E conference to discuss investments in advanced fission and fusion projects.

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