Office of Technology Development
Office of Technology Development
Use this form if you have an invention to disclose to our office.
A Material Transfer Agreement (“MTA”) is a binding agreement which outlines the terms and conditions for the transfer of experimental materials coming into or going out of USM. The experimental materials can be of any nature; however, the most common are biological, chemical/physical, and electronic/software media. OTD negotiates MTAs and are signed on behalf of USM by the Vice President for Research.
The purpose of an MTA is to formalize the fact that one (or more) of the parties has a proprietary interest in a particular material and the other party intends to use the material for their own research purposes. Examples of materials include, but are not limited to: assay materials, monoclonal antibodies, biological specimens (fish, plants, insects, etc.), cell lines, technical data, software, confidential information, integrated circuit designs, blueprints, products, processes, devices, fabricated equipment, or any unique material.
Procedures for Incoming MTAs (Materials owned by another organization/institution)
When an MTA is received by a USM principal investigator/researcher (“PI”), it should sent to the Office of Technology Development (OTD). A review of the terms and conditions of the MTA will be performed and OTD will inform the PI whether or not the MTA can be executed without change. If the original MTA is acceptable, OTD will submit the MTA for signature to the Vice President for Research and send a copy or duplicate originals to the provider of the material.
If any part of the MTA is not within compliance of USM policy or procedures, State law, or other rules, regulations or guidelines that may be appropriate to the situation, OTD will negotiate with the provider of the material to modify those areas. The PI will be informed of the process and potential timeline for executing the modified MTA. PLEASE NOTE: The negotiation process can be quite lengthy, so PIs should plan accordingly when requesting materials.
Procedures for Outgoing MTAs (Materials owned by USM)
Somewhat similar to an Incoming MTA, when a material is requested by a third party, the USM PI should refer the third party to OTD, which will determine the appropriate MTA format and formalize the terms and conditions of the MTA with the third party. Once the MTA is finalized, OTD will submit the MTA for signature to the Vice President for Research and send a copy or duplicate originals to the recipient of the material. NOTE: Material should NOT be sent to a third party without an executed MTA in place.
On occasion, there may be circumstances that an MTA is not necessary. Examples of situations where an MTA does not apply include:
1. Internal transfers amongst USM departments/units
2. Purchased materials (e.g., Stock chemicals)
3. Independently developed material (No USM resources were used to create the material)
4. A third party controls the transfer (e.g., via industrial/commercial agreement)
If a PI in unsure of whether or not an MTA may be necessary for their particular situation, please don’t hesitate to contact OTD.
These are often used to protect the confidentiality of an invention as it is being evaluated by outside parties. NDAs also protect proprietary information of third parties that researchers at our university need to review in order to evaluate research opportunities. The Office for Technology Development is here to help with the negotiation and execution of NDAs for University proprietary information shared with someone outside of the University or two way NDAs that enable both partners to share information.
This is a bilateral or multilateral agreement between two or more parties. It expresses a convergence of will between the parties, indicating an intended common goal.
Terms under which two or more universities will collaborate to assess, protect, market, license and share in the revenues received from licensing jointly owned Intellectual Property.
The case is screened for technical readiness, market potential, and IP strength. Inventor participates in process and provides relevant data as appropriate. Return to Idea stage if more information is needed to complete the assessment process.