Nondisclosure Agreements

NREL's nondisclosure agreement (NDA) process ensures the strict confidentiality of proprietary or confidential information between the laboratory and a partner.

We have established this process to develop mutually beneficial R&D collaborations in a straightforward, flexible, timely, and efficient manner.

Agreement Types

Unilateral Nondisclosure Agreement – NREL Disclosing

NREL provides its proprietary information to the other party. Download the Unilateral NDA – NREL Disclosing Template.

Unilateral Nondisclosure Agreement – Partner Disclosing

The other party provides proprietary information to NREL. Download the Unilateral NDA – Partner Disclosing Template.

Bilateral Nondisclosure Agreement

Both NREL and the other party provide proprietary information to each other. Download the Bilateral NDA Template.


The first step involves identifying the need for a nondisclosure agreement. To make its decision, NREL uses the U.S. Department of Energy's definitions of proprietary information, and it determines whether such an agreement will advance NREL's mission.

If there's a need for a nondisclosure agreement, NREL will prepare the appropriate template and provide it to the partner. In some situations NREL may agree to use another party's template. NREL requires, among other things, that nondisclosure agreements include the following basic elements:

  • Purpose
  • Description of the proprietary or confidential information to be shared in nonproprietary terms
  • Exclusions to the nondisclosure of information
  • Specific duration of the nondisclosure agreement and confidentiality period

The parties will review the nondisclosure agreement and, if needed, negotiate revisions to agreement terms.

Once the nondisclosure agreement has been finalized, designated signatories will review and sign the agreement.

Once the nondisclosure agreement has been executed, appropriately labeled information may be shared. NREL and the other party then maintain records of the nondisclosure agreement and the proprietary or confidential information as required for business practices and governance.


NREL generally expects that nondisclosure agreements can be executed within one week. Longer timelines are generally the result of having incomplete information or terms negotiations. If you have a question regarding the status of a nondisclosure agreement, please call your technical contact.


Contact a nondisclosure agreements specialist with questions.