Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) NASA: What You Need to Know

NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is a federal agency responsible for conducting research, developing technology, and exploring space. It collaborates with other federal agencies, academia, industry, and international partners to advance scientific knowledge and create new technologies. One of the ways that NASA fosters collaboration is through Cooperative Agreement Notices (CANs). In this article, we will explain what a CAN is, how it works, and what benefits it can bring to you and your organization.

What is a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN)?

A Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) is a legal instrument used by NASA to announce its intent to fund research, technology development, education, and outreach projects through a cooperative agreement. A cooperative agreement is a type of funding mechanism that involves a partnership between NASA and one or more external organizations, such as universities, industry, or non-profit entities. Unlike a grant, which is a gift of funds, a cooperative agreement is a mutual agreement in which NASA and the partner(s) share responsibilities and risks to achieve common goals.

How does a CAN work?

When NASA issues a CAN, it specifies the scientific or technical areas of interest, the types of partners eligible to apply, the evaluation criteria, and the funding amount and duration. The CAN also outlines the rights and obligations of both parties, the reporting requirements, and any intellectual property or data rights provisions. The partner(s) must submit a proposal that addresses the CAN`s requirements and demonstrates their capability, experience, and resources to perform the proposed work. NASA evaluates the proposals based on technical merit, relevance to NASA`s mission, feasibility, and cost-effectiveness. The selected partner(s) negotiate a cooperative agreement with NASA that defines the scope, objectives, deliverables, and budget of the project. The partner(s) perform the work and report progress to NASA, which provides technical oversight and guidance. Once the project is completed, NASA may publish the results, share the data, or use the technology for its own purposes.

What are the benefits of a CAN?

A CAN provides several benefits to the partner(s) and NASA. By partnering with NASA, you can access NASA`s expertise, facilities, and data, as well as collaborate with other organizations that share similar interests. You can also leverage your own capabilities and resources to advance your research or technology development goals. A CAN can enhance your reputation, visibility, and impact, as well as provide opportunities for education and outreach. For NASA, a CAN can expand its research portfolio, leverage external resources, and foster innovation and knowledge transfer. A CAN can also help NASA meet its strategic objectives and societal needs, such as advancing space exploration, protecting the Earth, and improving life on Earth.


If you are interested in conducting research or technology development in collaboration with NASA, a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) may be the right funding mechanism for you. A CAN provides a framework for partnership, collaboration, and mutual benefit. By responding to a CAN, you can access NASA`s vast resources and expertise, as well as contribute to NASA`s mission and goals. Keep an eye on NASA`s CANs website for upcoming opportunities and stay informed about the eligibility requirements, evaluation criteria, and proposal deadlines. Good luck!