Technology transfer professionals

Simplify and streamline the materials transfer process

As a technology transfer professional, you may have experienced the frustration of negotiating Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs). These agreements rarely represent significant revenue potential, but nevertheless create a significant resource burden. Despite the NIH’s recommendations to standardize and simplify MTA negotiations, many technology transfer offices are being inundated with custom agreements, often with objectionable conditions.

Science Commons is working to standardize, streamline and automate the materials transfer process, doing so in a way that is consistent with best industry practice and the NIH Guidelines. We can help you:

Simplify negotiations — Through our Materials Transfer Agreement (MTA) Project, we’ve developed a fully functioning prototype materials transfer system, now live at the iBridgeSM Network. The system uses standardized, machine-readable contracts to make the materials transfer process easier and more Web-enabled. The contracts include the standard Uniform Biological Transfer Agreement (UBMTA) and the Simple Letter Agreement (SLA) for intra-academic transfers, accompanied with easy-to-read summaries for scientists and advanced tools for IT specialists. We also have sample MTAs for academic-to-industry transfers, which provide greater flexibility and more options than available under the UBMTA, while preserving standardization and compliance with the NIH policy recommendations. We are also working with many bio-banks and material repositories to extend their capabilities with open and highly integrated networks of resource sharing.

If you’d like to learn more about how to use these tools at your institution, please contact us. We’re a nonprofit organization, and all of the assistance and tools we offer are free.

Explore policy options for facilitating materials transfer — In addition to using standardized MTAs, we encourage you to consider routine deposit of your materials in an appropriate materials repository. If it is consistent with your institution’s policy and suitable for the material under consideration, you may be able to take advantage of the storage, maintenance, fulfillment and delivery capabilities of existing repositories to reduce your materials transfer processing workload.

If you have questions, please let us know. We will be happy to explore how these policies can benefit you and your institution.