The Secretary may provide research and development assistance under subsection (a), or any part thereof, by contract.
33 U.S. Code § 2323. Technical assistance to private entities
(a) Use of Corps research and development labsThe Secretary is authorized to use Corps of Engineers research and development laboratories to provide research and development assistance to corporations, partnerships, limited partnerships, consortia, public and private foundations, universities, and nonprofit organizations operating within the United States, territories or possessions of the United States, and the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands—
if the entity furnishes in advance of fiscal obligation by the United States such funds as are necessary to cover any and all costs of such research and development assistance;
if the Secretary determines that the research and development assistance to be provided is within the mission of the Corps of Engineers and is in the public interest;
if the entity has certified to the Secretary that provision of such research and development assistance is not otherwise reasonably and expeditiously obtainable from the private sector; and