Independent Research and Development Program

IR&DP was established to assist vendors in the exploration of new IA technologies.


The National Security Agency's (NSA) Independent Research and Development Program (IR&DP) was established to benefit future research development and production efforts by assisting vendors in the exploration of new Information Assurance (IA) technologies. The goal of the IR&DP is to encourage independent research and development efforts in areas of mutual interest to both industry and NSA's IA mission. NSA envisions the IR&DP as a means for decreasing the "learning curve" typically experienced by vendors as a result of their unfamiliarity with IA techniques and applications.

A major element of an IR&DP is the Technical Addendum, a document that defines the scope of the work performed under the IR&DP project.

Eligibility Requirements

Vendors that engage in research and development activities intended to accomplish any of the following areas of interest may be considered for IR&DP participation:

  • Enabling superior performance of future IA systems and components;
  • Reducing acquisition costs and life-cycle costs of IA systems and components;
  • Strengthening the cryptographic industrial and technological base of the United States;
  • Enhancing the industrial competitiveness of the United States; or
  • Increasing the development and promotion of efficient and effective applications of dual-use technology.


  • The vendor approaches NSA with a proposed research activity by contacting IAD's Client Advocates and then submitting a letter of request and project description (IR&DP proposal).
  • NSA technology cells and other organizations working the technology area review the proposal and decide if there is any interest.
  • If the vendor's proposal is accepted, NSA and the company enter into a legally binding agreement.
  • The vendor submits a white paper to NSA at the conclusion of agreed research

Please contact IAD's Client Contact Center for more information.

Last Reviewed: 13 May 2015