OTA Background

According to ScienceMag.org in the 1960s the government outspent private industry on research by a margin of two to one. This same source reports that today private sector businesses spend $3 in research for every $1 invested by the government. The majority of existing regulations governing contracts, grants and cooperative agreements were created prior to this shift in allocation of funds for research.

The fact that the government still needs access to leading-edge R&D and prototypes from commercial sources is one of the reasons that OT authority has been given to so many agencies.

Many of these commercial organizations engaged in today’s leading-edge research are either unable or unwilling to enter into a contract, grant or cooperative agreement with the government due to the many statutes that would apply to these agreements.