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Material Transfer Agreements


What is a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)?

A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is a legal contract required for the transfer of biological material between TTUHSC and academic, non-profit, or industrial institutions for research purposes.  MTAs are put in place in order to protect your IP when you either provide or receive research materials—such as cell lines, cultures, bacteria, nucleotides, proteins, transgenic animals, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals—to and from research institutions or corporate entities.  Each exchange of research material requires an MTA.  For repeated exchanges of the same research material, standardized MTAs can help streamline the process.

 

Why are MTAs important?

MTAs are important because they protect your IP rights, limit liability, and fairly credit the developer of the materials.  Although an MTA itself does not generate revenue, it sets the stage for future licensing contracts.  An MTA outlines which party to the agreement owns intellectual property developed from use of the materials.  If TTUHSC retains ownership to this intellectual property, it is often able to license these rights to an industrial partner and garner royalties, thereby both increasing research funds available to TTUHSC generally and providing additional financial compensation to the researcher. 

 

Although MTAs may require some advanced planning to avoid delays in research, they serve an important purpose.  MTAs lay the foundation for individual and institutional financial gain, and protect the materials and intellectual property in which universities have rights.  These agreements also protect future intellectual property and the researchers’ rights to publish research results.  Protections like these are necessary for the existence and mission fulfillment of federally-funded universities.  With these protections in place, the brilliant minds employed by TTUHSC can focus on their research with peace of mind knowing that their contributions will be protected and properly attributed.

 

Who should I contact for assistance with MTAs?

TTUHSC researchers should contact the TTUHSC Office of Research (OOR): Pam Frazier, 806-743-4367, pamela.frazier@ttuhsc.edu 

 

MTA Procedures: 


Incoming MTAs


To request an MTA for biological materials from an outside source, the receiving scientist should follow the steps outlined here:
  1. Complete the INCOMING MATERIAL TRANSFER ROUTE SHEET available here, and submit the route sheet and the provider’s MTA via email.
  2. OOR will review the submission to confirm the MTA complies with institutional policies or negotiate revisions.  If the MTA contains language that affects TTUHSC’s intellectual property rights or conflicts with the laws of the State of Texas, the TTU System Office of Technology and Commercialization or legal counsel may also be asked to review the document.
  3. When the agreement has been finalized, OOR will coordinate signatures. You will then receive a PDF copy of the fully signed agreement for your records. 

Outgoing MTAs


To request an MTA for biological materials from the TTUHSC, the sending party should follow the steps outlined below:
  1. Complete the OUTGOING MATERIAL TRANSFER ROUTE SHEET available here, and submit the route sheet via email.  The information will be used to determine which MTA document will be implemented and whether further information needs to be included.
  2. OOR will coordinate the creation and any proposed changes to the MTA with the requestor and copy you on the correspondence.
  3. When the agreement has been finalized, OOR will coordinate signatures.  In most cases, the TTUHSC Principal Investigator will not need to sign an outgoing MTA. You will receive a PDF copy of the fully signed agreement for your records.
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