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NOAA Research Laboratories

Office of Research, Transition, and Application

The Office of Research, Transition, and Application (ORTA) fully leverages NOAA’s R&D enterprise to serve NOAA’s mission and benefit society by accelerating and facilitating the transition of R&D within NOAA to operations, applications, commercialization, and other uses. It also accomplishes this by working to develop and implement policies that guide and manage transition in NOAA. ORTA comprises the Uncrewed Systems Research Transition Office (USRTO), the Technology Partnerships Office (TPO), as well as direct support for R&D transition policies and guidance across NOAA.

NOAA Technology Partnerships Office

The NOAA Technology Partnerships Office, or TPO, serves the needs of both NOAA inventors and U.S. companies looking to partner with NOAA or license our technologies. Located in Silver Spring, MD, the NOAA TPO oversees both the Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Technology Transfer Program for NOAA.

Office of Science Support

The Office of Science Support maintains OAR and NOAA’s role as a leader in environmental observations and modeling by executing several functions that align research and development (R&D) to NOAA’s mission, and enhance the tracking and accountability of NOAA’s R&D to ensure the credibility of R&D outcomes. OSS encompases the Cooperative Institute Office, NOAA Science Advisory Board, Scientific Integrity, NOAA Central Library, and direct support for R&D analysis and policy.

NOAA Research Laboratories

The NOAA Research Laboratories conduct an integrated program of research, technology development, and services to improve the understanding of Earth's atmosphere, oceans and inland waters, and to describe and predict changes occurring to them. The laboratories and their field stations are located across the country and around the world.

The laboratories have established formal collaborative agreements with universities/non-profit research institutions to form joint research institutes that are centers of scientific excellence pertaining to the earth's oceans, inland waters, intermountain west, atmosphere, and arctic environment.

Scientific reviews are conducted every five years to evaluate the quality, relevance, and performance of research conducted at the OAR laboratories. These reviews help to strategically position laboratories in their planning of future science and are intended to ensure that OAR laboratory research is linked to the NOAA Next Generation Strategic Plan, remains relevant to the NOAA research mission and its priorities, and is consistent with NOAA planning, programming, and budgeting processes.

NOAA Cooperative Institutes 

The NOAA Cooperative Institutes are academic and non-profit research institutions that demonstrate the highest level of performance and conduct research that supports NOAA's Mission Goals and Strategic Plan. Many of the Cooperative Institutes are collocated with NOAA research laboratories, creating a strong, long-term collaboration between scientists in the laboratories and in the university. 


We conduct research in three major areas: weather and air quality, climate, and ocean and coastal resources.


The laboratories and their field stations are located across the country and around the world.


Scientific reviews are conducted every four years to evaluate the quality, relevance, and performance of research conducted at the OAR laboratories.


The Oceanic and Atmospheric Research International Activities Office (OAR/IA) advances NOAA’s science enterprise and priorities on ocean, atmosphere, and climate.


Phone: 301-713-2458
Address: 1315 East-West Highway Silver Spring, MD 20910

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Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.


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