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Work-for-Others Agreements

NREL uses a work-for-others (WFO) agreement when a partner seeks technical services to complete a project but does not intend to perform joint research. The partner provides NREL with the necessary resources and fully covers the costs of the work to be performed.

The agreement type used depends on the business, and the specific partnership selected is determined on a case-by-case basis.


Work-for-others agreement types include:

  • Interagency Agreement-Government
    A federal agency other than the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funds NREL's work directly. However, DOE and the agency enter into the agreement.

  • Funds-In Agreement
    A nonfederal entity pays NREL to conduct a research-oriented project. Under certain circumstances, the agreement may allow for the nonfederal project sponsor to obtain title to inventions.

  • Technical Services Agreement
    A Technical Services Agreement (TSA) is suitable for projects $250,000 or less in value, up to three years in duration, and funded entirely by the Sponsor for services which would not be expected to result in any inventions. A TSA cannot be used for agreements with federal agencies. It has been preapproved by DOE which means that terms cannot be changed. It may be, however, that if you have questions about anything here we can resolve it with some explanation. For more information, contact

  • Analytical Services Agreement
    Nonfederal sponsors pay for specialized, narrow analytical services performed by the lab in 13 different categories of testing or characterization services. This small-scale, "shrink-wrap" agreement has a maximum work duration of three months and a maximum value of $25,000.

More Information

To learn more about the process for establishing a work-for-others agreement with NREL, see technology partnership agreements.


If you have any questions about work-for-others agreements, contact Anne Miller, 303-384-7353.