Material Transfer Agreements (MMA) are contractual documents that are used for the acquisition of various biological and research materials and data sometimes developed by non-profit, public and private companies. Often, these materials are a necessary part of a research project and are only available from a single, often industrial, source. The industry may view its materials as important proprietary resources and assert ownership of inventions made with these materials or limit the publication of adverse results. Universities will want to ensure that the conditions of the MTA allow for the full dissemination of research results and are not at odds with other higher education policies. Because of these differences of opinion, negotiations to meet the needs of both parties may take time. The usual areas of negotiation are publications, the exploitation of research results and the appropriation of the technology produced by research. Our university is a public institution that receives a large portion of its research funds from the U.S. federal government. To ensure that MTAs comply with higher education policy and funding agency requirements, the university will review ODA to ensure compliance with NIH guidelines, including principles and guidelines for NIH scholarship recipients and contracts to obtain and disseminate biomedical research resources.
If you would like to discuss material transfer issues, please contact Howard G. Zaharoff. one. After years of discussion, the National Institutes of Health published in 1995 “the final version of the UBMTA (“UBMTA” of the Uniform Biological Materials Transfer Agreement, to be used by public and non-profit organizations, an execution letter recalling individual exchanges under the UBMTA, and a simple correspondence arrangement for the transfer of non-proprietary biological materials between public and non-profit organizations.” NIH Guide, Vol. 24, No. 14, 14 April 1995. Faculty members who come or leave the UH must have an MTA before they can transfer materials from other institutions such as plasmids, cell lines, animals, etc.