What does a Material Transfer Agreement do?
This legal agreement is required whenever material is being transferred from one party (provider) to another party (recipient). It governs such issues as:
- Ownership of the transferred material and any modifications and derivatives the recipient makes
- Limits on the recipient's use of the material and reimbursements for the costs of providing the material
- Protection of either institution from legal liability as a result of others using the material
- Confidentiality of information relating to the material, and any issues regarding publications
- Rights to inventions and use of research results, including protection of related intellectual property rights or valuable know-how
What is "material"?
"Material" may be any chemical compounds, any form of biological materials (e.g., cultures, cell lines, plasmids, nucleotides, proteins, transgenic animals or plants, or pharmaceuticals), or information in various forms (e.g., data, databases, or computer source code).
This type of agreement is used when the University of Minnesota either sends or receives any materials to or from other institutions or companies.
How do I obtain signatures for a proprietary information nondisclosure agreement (NDA) or confidentiality agreement?
Any agreement that does not involve receipt of funding (i.e., not a grant proposal) for which you need institutional signature, be it an MTA, an NDA, or an unfunded research collaboration agreement (RCA), is processed using a material transfer agreement routing form (MTARF).
How long does it take to finish an agreement?
This varies, mostly dependent on the type of agreement used. A simple letter agreement or the NIH Uniform Biological Materials Transfer Agreement can be completed in a few working days and sent to the other party for signature. A complex agreement with copious intellectual property issues can take three months to complete depending on the availability and willingness of the other party to negotiate.