Kelly Day Rubenstein and Paul W. Heisey
United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service.

Private funding for agricultural research now exceeds that of the public sector. Other changes have included policies to make greater use of technology transfer mechanisms, such as patents and licensing and Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs). A review of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) suggests these mechanisms did not displace more traditional instruments, such as scientific publications, nor is there any evidence that their use shifted the ARS’s research priorities. Although technologies transferred through these mechanisms tended to be of greater interest to private-sector partners than the ARS’s research generally, in many cases transferred technologies had public goods attributes.

Key words: Agricultural research, Agricultural Research Service, ARS, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, CRADAs, licensing, patents, technology transfer, United States Department of Agriculture, USDA.