Although it is possible to use a FAR contract to purchase research and development (See FAR part 35), OTs provide advantages in certain circumstance, most notably issues dealing with data rights, intellectual property and cost accounting requirements.
OTs allow the government to create flexible collaborative relationships with companies or consortia for specific research, development and prototyping endeavors within a short period of time. Many of the rules associated with the contracting process do not apply to OTs. This allows for an expansion of the industrial base to include companies that otherwise would not, or could not participate in a research or prototyping projects due to mandatory clauses imposing a variety of laws and regulations. Resulting agreements can have many types of financial arrangements and advance funding is not prohibited.