The NIH believes that the exchange of research instruments is so important for the future advancement of research that the Agency has published strict guidelines for the transfer of research materials that contribute to or result from NIH-funded research.1 The NSF has also published guidelines for the release of data and materials and invites researchers to describe the timing of the , constraints and means to release developed material. , particularly for programs (such as the Genome Genome Research Program) that focus on providing research resources and tools.2 A. Many laws apply to the transmission of materials by the supplier and the use of materials by the recipient. MTAs should require the recipient to comply with these laws. Consider this. The standard MTA used by the Davis Campus at the University of California (Box 4 [see end of chapter] ] is an MTA that allows a university to provide material to another university. An MTA, regardless of its length and complexity, can do a lot, if not all of the following: An MTA can range from a few hundred words on a page to several thousand words over a dozen pages. The Simple Letter Agreement for the Transfer of Materials (Box 3 [see end chapter] of the NIH) is an excellent example of a short, easy-to-understand and one-sided MTA. The Simple Letter Agreement does not require negotiations and is used by academic institutions in the United States to transfer material, and in the case of research consortia composed of several academic or non-profit institutions, this type of agreement can be modified to create an umbrella for the simple transfer of material between consortia. At the other end of the spectrum, a complex and long MTA of a company ready to supply innovative and highly owner-owned materials can take years to negotiate. An MTA shows how the recipient can and can use the material.
Normally, the MTA contains an empty space for the researcher to include a description of the use of the research with the material. Sometimes an MTA has a separate appendix with a very detailed description of the proposed search operation. An MTA generally prohibits the recipient from using the materials on any other than the original search. As a general rule, an MTA also prohibits the supplier`s equipment from being tested on humans and used in plants and animals that are consumed as food. Other prohibitions may include the use of material in research that has IP obligations to third parties, or with other third-party materials, or the transfer of material to third parties or even to other researchers within the recipient`s institution. Finally, most MTAs have prohibitions on equipment intended for commercial use. D. MTAs can also be used by industry to provide their unique materials to universities for pro-bono research or as part of ongoing or potentially sponsored research, or to obtain academic materials for their own research and development activities.
For simple transfers without intellectual property, the NIH recommends a simple matching agreement. For materials that can be patented or for which increased protection is desired, the Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UBMTA) can be used. Many U.S. educational institutions have signed the UBMTA Masteragrement.  AUTM (formerly the Association of University Technology Managers) serves as a repository for UBMTA`s original master`s contracts and keeps the list of signatories.  UBMTA signatories must only sign a letter of execution containing the details of each transfer, since they have already agreed to all the terms of the master contract.