Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs)
Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs)
Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) address the exchange of research materials between individuals at separate organizations. Case-by-case negotiation of MTAs often is necessary, particularly when intellectual property or ownership issues are involved.
An MTA is a binding written contract between parties that governs the use of loaned Material. MTAs generally reflect the fact that one of the parties has a proprietary interest in the Material loaned and the other party intends to use the Material for his/her own research purposes. Examples of Materials include, but are not limited to: assay materials, monoclonal antibodies, cell lines, mouse strains, plant varieties, technical data, software, confidential information, integrated circuit designs, blueprints, products, processes, devices, fabricated equipment, or any unique material. Material resulting from one's academic activities (such as a syllabus or course notes) and purchased Material would not usually fall under the parameters of an MTA. Intra-UNH transfers of Material are not subject to MTAs.
MTAs provide UNH faculty, staff, and students many benefits:
- Define and protect rights to inventions, patents, and commercialization resulting from Material
- Rights to improvements to Material and/or inventions made using Material
- Timely sharing of Material
- Control over the distribution of Material
- Time to comment on any non-UNH proposed publication regarding Material
- Acknowledgment of UNH investigators in publications resulting from use of their Material
Ensuring that recipients a) exercise care in handling Material and b) follow relevant federal guidelines relating to recombinant DNA, protection of human subjects in research, and the use of animals.
To facilitate transfers of Materials, UNH has established MTA guidelines. UNH will generally agree to make Material in which it has a proprietary interest available to other organizations upon the execution of an MTA to provide for conditional use of the Material by the receiving party. UNH will also facilitate the transfer of Material from outside organizations to UNH by providing institutional review, negotiation, and coordination of all MTAs from external organizations. UNH faculty, staff, and students are responsible for compliance with the terms of the MTA and safe use of the Material.
Unless there is a proprietary interest by a third party, intra-UNH transfers of Material are not subject to MTAs. Not withstanding the foregoing, the Vice President for Research (VPR) reserves all rights, authority, and responsibility to protect UNH's interests as described in the UNH Intellectual Property Policy, other applicable policies, and as determined by consultation with other UNH offices and committees. As such, the VPR reserves the right to decline any request to sign an MTA.
The investigator should first determine if an MTA is applicable. (Click here to see when an MTA applies.) If an MTA is applicable, there are 3 choices:
- A Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UBMTA) between participating entities
- A providing organization's MTA for inbound Material
- A UNH MTA for outbound Material
Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UBMTA) for Inbound or Outbound Material
UNH and several hundred other academic institutions and private organizations have adopted and signed a master UBMTA promoted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). If an MTA is needed to exchange materials and the recipient and provider entities are both UBMTA participants, a UBMTA Implementing Letter should be used.
For outbound Material, the investigator must first complete and submit the Information Required to Initiate a Material Transfer Agreement to the Office for Research Partnerships and Commercialization (ORPC). The standard terms and conditions for the UBMTA are incorporated by reference in the Implementing Letter, and can be viewed here.
Inbound Material Not Subject to a UBMTA
MTAs from external organizations are reviewed, negotiated, and signed by the Office for Research Partnerships and Commercialization (ORPC) on behalf of the Senior Vioce Provost for Research. Such reviews might include consultation with the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) and Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA). Once negotiated, the MTA is signed by the ORPC and the specified recipient. Material received by UNH under an MTA may be inventoried by OEHS or other appropriate offices as necessary. UNH investigators may be asked periodically about the disposition of such Material. Faculty sponsoring visiting scientists should disclose all Material that is to be used on UNH premises.
Outbound Material Not Subject to a UBMTA
The investigator must first complete and submit Information Required to Initiate a Material Transfer Agreement to the Office for Research Partnerships and Commercialization (ORPC). ORPC staff will use the information to prepare and negotiate the MTA with the proposed recipient organization, and coordinate with the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) on behalf of the investigator, when appropriate, to assure that Material to be shipped complies with all applicable federal and state regulations. Once the ORPC receives a fully signed MTA, the ORPC will notify the UNH investigator, who then may package and ship the Material.
Contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety for information regarding handling of inbound and outbound materials.
This brochure provides information about the transfer of biological materials: Materials Transfer in Academia