Publications & Reference Materials

White Paper: GOGOS, GOCOS, AND FFRDCS…OH MY!

White Paper: GOGOS, GOCOS, AND FFRDCS…OH MY!

We get asked about the differences between lab designations so often, we reached out to experts on both sides to put them to paper.

"Federal Laboratory Designations: GOGOs, GOCOs, and FFRDCs…Oh My!" describes the basic differences and similarities among federal laboratory designations. It provides a quick overview of what it means to see a lab described as government-owned, government-operated (GOGO); government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO); or as a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC).

Co-authors Belinda Snyder of Los Alamos National Laboratory (a GOCO) and Jeffrey W. Thomas, Ph.D., of the National Cancer Institute (an FFRDC) have done a great job of working together to point out all the angles.

As they write, "The moment you set foot in a federal laboratory, it’s only a matter of time before you fall into the acronym alphabet soup.... Each of [the laboratory] designations carries with it specific attributes that allow a federal laboratory to carry out its research mission in a defined way."

Now, when people ask what all these acronyms mean and how they affect the tech transfer process, you have an easy read to point them to. The white paper also includes a table comparing the different activities at GOGOs and GOCOs.

We hope you’ll share this paper with anyone who’s new to federal labs and trying to make sense of it all!

Year Published: 
2014
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