Oklahoma researchers have gained another asset in their bid to develop technologies in the areas of advanced materials, nanotechnology and alternative fuels. The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology has signed a cooperative agreement with Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee that opens the U.S. Department of Energy facility to state research institutions and industry, officials said Friday. The agreement is effective Oct. 1, OCAST said in a statement. Under the agreement, Oklahoma and Oak Ridge will enjoy the benefit of shared resources with a focus on development of areas of technology for which Oak Ridge has demonstrated strengths. Oklahoma industry interests and research institutions will benefit from the memorandum in several areas including advanced materials, nanotechnology and alternative fuels. Through this agreement OCAST will work with Oak Ridge to expand the research infrastructure in Oklahoma and facilitate technology transfer from the national lab. "The partnership between OCAST and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory will produce great benefits for Oklahoma,” said Gov. Brad Henry. "It will not only boost research projects here but also enhance the outstanding national reputation already enjoyed by OCAST,” he said. OCAST has worked with the Oak Ridge lab for several years. The new agreement formalizes the relationship.