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Commercialization Material Transfer Agreements

The MTA

The MTA defines the rights of the provider and the recipient with respect to the materials and any derivatives and is required for transfering any material to an outside entity.

 

MTA’s exist  to safeguard any intellectual property when sending it to outside sources.

Biological materials, such as reagents, cell lines, plasmids, vectors and live animals, are the most frequently transferred materials. However, MTAs may also be necessary for other research materials such as engineering samples, chemical compounds, and software.

The Office of Commercialization (OC) is responsible for negotiating all outgoing MTAs. All principal investigators or researchers who wish to send materials outside of the university should complete and submit the MTA Checklist to the OC. The checklist provides the information required to draft the MTA.

If you are transferring live vertebrate animals then the transfer is coordinated between the OC, the Office of the Campus Vet, and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Office (IACUC) located at the Office of Research Assurances (ORA). Along with the MTA checklist, please also submit the Animal Protocol Checklist.

 

 

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Download the MTA Checklist

Procedure for Executing Out-Going MTAS

  • The researcher submits the MTA Checklist to the OC.
  • The OC drafts and negotiates the MTA with the receiving party. Negotiating and executing the MTA can be a lengthy process. Please plan ahead.
  • Once the agreement is fully executed, the OC informs all parties involved. At this point, the materials may be transferred.For assistance please contact:

  • Washington State University is a signatory on the Master UBMTA Agreement.  We are happy to execute a UBMTA Implementing Letter when appropriate.

In-Coming MTAS


At WSU, the Office of Research Support and Operations (ORSO) is responsible for negotiating the MTAs for incoming materials. ORSO requires that all requests be made by completing the ORSO MTA Request Form. ORSO will then contact the other party to facilitate the process.

FAQ’s

  • Why are Material Transfer Agreements Necessary?

    A (MTA) is a legal document for the protection of tangible research materials created by researchers that may be useful to others for research or for commercial development. It is important to contact us prior to receiving or sending out any research materials so that appropriate MTAs can be developed to protect you and the institution.

  • Whom do I contact when I want to transfer research material?

    A typical template MTA form can be downloaded here, please contact us for assistance in tailoring an agreement to your specific needs. Outgoing MTAs are handled by our office. For more information, contact our office at (509) 335-5526. If you are transferring materials into your program from somewhere else, please contact WSU’s Office of Grant and Research Development at (509) 335-9661 for arranging an incoming MTA.

  • I have some materials that my colleague at another university/company want to use. Can I simply mail them?
    Am I required to have an agreement set up?

    All the materials that go out of the University need to have an out-going materials transfer agreement attached to them. These MTAs specify the rights and limitations for using these materials and are meant to protect the rights of WSU researchers. In addition, these also serve the purpose of complying with export regulations between the United States and a foreign country. Outgoing MTAs are handled by the our office. For more information, contact our office at (509) 335-5526.

  • I have biological materials a company wants to use. Can they be given to the company?

    Corporate entities can have access to materials developed by WSU researchers. This type of transfer is facilitated via a research use license/MTA with that entity. The research use licenses are handled by the our office. For more information, contact our office at (509) 335-5526.

  • A company wants to fund research in my lab. I need to disclose an confidential and proprietary information. What should I do?

    WSU’s Office of Grant and Research Development enters into a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to facilitate exchange of confidential information with an industry sponsor to protect the rights of its researchers. NDAs allow the disclosure of confidential information prior to, for example, a research proposal submission. For more information, contact OGRD at (509) 335-9661.

  • I want to use materials developed by my colleague s another institution. Can I go ahead and have him/her send me the materials?

    All the materials that come into the University need to have an in-coming materials transfer agreement attached to them. These MTAs specify the rights and limitations for using these materials and are meant to protect the rights of WSU researchers. The incoming MTAs are handled by WSU’s Office of Grant and Research Development. For more information, contact OGRD at (509) 335-9661.

  • I have developed methods and other information (“know-how”) that I have not published? A company wants to have access to this information. How can they obtain access to this information?

    Know-how and information that is not patented or patentable can be made available to an industry partner under a know-how license. Know-how licenses are negotiated by the our office. For more information, contact our office at (509) 335-5526.