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AmericanJan

University Research Considered a Commercial Item

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Is university research considered a commercial item? Why or why not, and have you had experience arguing commerciality of research as a commercial service?  Technically we could hire any commercial research firm to perform research and provide data, but prefer to partner with a university. What might be arguments against or for the research being considered a commercial item?

 

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Sure, if the R&D services are of a type offered and sold competitively in substantial quantities in the commercial marketplace based on established catalog or market prices (FFP) for specific tasks performed or specific outcomes to be achieved and under standard commercial terms and conditions.

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Why would you want to classify university research as a commercial item?  Such contracts would normally have to be a type of fixed price contract.  In my experience working at ONR, research contracts at universities are generally not susceptible of being priced on a fixed price basis unless the contract is a fixed price LOE contract as described in FAR 16.207.

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I think that one would really have to stretch the definition and intent of commercial item or service to classify university research as commercial item or service. 

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There is no categorical distinction between "university research" and "commercial item". If the research to be performed by a university meets the definition of "commercial item", it's a commercial item. I would expect some research done by universities to meet the definition of "commercial item".

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