On 31 October 2017, the Minister of Energy authorised the sustainability of the ACT mechanism. In addition, the Secretary approved a pilot project of ACT projects involving federal funds, known as FedACT agreements. Under the ACT, for many types of technologies, the government will have the option of retaining a narrower license for the use of intellectual property solely for research purposes. ACT allows participating contractors who operate DOE laboratories to cooperate with companies that use terms that are more suited to industry practices. These contractors are allowed to take risks that the U.S. government cannot take. ACT also provides a more flexible framework for the negotiation of intellectual property (IP) rights to facilitate the transition of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace and facilitates the participation of national laboratories in groups formed to address complex technological challenges. ACT was designed to allow contractors managing laboratories and WEE facilities to cooperate more flexibly with industry on research and technology transfer projects. The ACT allows third parties to negotiate terms and conditions (GTC) that are more consistent with industry practices that are not otherwise authorized by cradas and strategic partnership project (SPP).
ACT was created to make negotiations between non-federal agencies and national laboratories more flexible and timely. .