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ShakeAlert Licensing Center

The Licensing Center contains information about how to become a partner of the ShakeAlert® System.

Introduction to ShakeAlert Partnerships

The USGS works with licensed technical partners to use USGS-issued ShakeAlert Messages for applications such as alerting people to take a protective action or triggering automated actions. These automated actions could include slowing trains, closing water valves, issuing public announcements, sending cell phone alerts, and many others. We encourage the development of both commercial products and services that could be sold to other organizations, as well as non-commercial products and services that will be used exclusively in-house.

The ShakeAlert System is composed of the USGS managed ShakeAlert system that detects earthquakes and licensed technical partners that deliver alerts.

Types of ShakeAlert License Agreements

The primary ShakeAlert license agreement is the Pilot License Agreement (PLA). Pilot Partners develop ways to utilize ShakeAlert data to generate alerts or trigger automated actions. This document converts to a License to Operate upon USGS approval.

Other ShakeAlert license agreements include Evaluation Partnership Agreement and the Communication, Education, and Outreach Partnership Agreement.

Pilot License Agreements

ShakeAlert Technical Partners first must execute a Pilot License Agreement (PLA) with the USGS. PLA partners research, develop, and internally test innovative ways to use ShakeAlert Messages for the delivery of ShakeAlert-powered products and services to the public and automated systems. Pilot licenses last one year but may be extended with USGS approval.

Before getting started with a ShakeAlert Pilot License Agreement (PLA), read through this Step-by-Step Guide to the ShakeAlert Licensing Pathway.

Prospective partners must include a detailed statement of work (SOW) when submitting the PLA for review. When writing your SOW, please consult the Statement of Work Guidelines.

The goal of the PLA is conversion to a License to Operate (LtO) through successful completion of a ShakeAlert Performance Review with the USGS. Unlike Pilot Partners, LtO Partners are approved by USGS to distribute or sell their ShakeAlert-powered product or service.

License to Operate (LtO) Partners have met the terms of the statement of work (SOW) of a well-defined use case in their ShakeAlert License Agreement.

Download License Agreements

Important Note: Please do not sign a partner agreement until requested by the USGS. Signing is usually the last step in the process. The USGS must review your initial application and once all the details of the agreement are in order a signature will be requested.

ShakeAlert Pilot Partnership Agreement (PLA) and Statement of Work (updated 12/2023)
ShakeAlert Agreement Amendment Form (updated 11/2023) Consult with USGS before using this form.

Resources for Pilot to LtO Conversion

Use these documents to prepare for your USGS Performance Review for PLA to LtO conversion.

ShakeAlert Technical Performance Guidelines for LtO Conversion (updated 04/2024)
ShakeAlert Education and Training Guidelines for LtO Conversion (updated 08/2022)

Other License Agreements

Evaluation Partnership

Evaluation Partners are organizations that want to understand how the ShakeAlert System works in order to evaluate if they want to become a technical partner or system end user. Evaluation Partners are not permitted to take actions or distribute alerts based on ShakeAlert information.

Important Note: The ShakeAlert Evaluation License Agreement is a non-negotiable agreement and must be executed as is.

ShakeAlert Evaluation License Agreement (updated 11/2023)

Communication, Education, and Outreach Partnership

This agreement enables organizations that are not pursuing a technical implementation to partner with the USGS for the development of communication, education, and outreach resources. Partners who already have a Pilot and/or LtO agreement with the USGS should not execute this agreement.

ShakeAlert Communication, Education, and Outreach – Agreement, Application, and Statement of Work (updated 11/2023)

Contact Us

The USGS manages the negotiation and execution of license agreements with non-USGS agencies.

Technical Engagement Regional Coordinators, listed below, are available to guide prospective licensees through the PLA process, including developing a Statement of Work, completing the Performance Report, and preparing for the USGS PLA to LtO Performance Review.

U.S. Geological Survey

Robert de Groot

Washington Regional Coordinators

Gabriel Lotto

William Steele

Oregon Regional Coordinators

Kelly Missett

Gabriel Lotto

California Regional Coordinators

Samantha Stanley
Northern California lead

Margaret Vinci
Southern California lead