Material Transfer Agreements (MTA)

SDSU's Research Support Services is responsible for the implementation and processing of the Biological Material Transfer Agreements (“MTAs”). The SDSU Technology Transfer Office negotiates the terms of the MTAs and the Intellectual Property (IP) aspects of using the materials.

MTAs are important documents for technology transfer; they can be both free as well as generate revenue, they allow important technologies (especially cell and mouse lines) to be used for further research at other institutions, and they manage how the sharing of these tools will impact further, downstream faculty build spin-out companies based on assigned IP development of IP. It is important to understand the purpose of using MTAs and that, for many reasons, these documents can be difficult to negotiate between different entities. Also, they have a long-term impact on IP creation at SDSU because of the strings that might be attached to using material from another researcher at a different institution in the development of new IP. Faculty should always keep a record of MTAs related to their research and make sure their disclosures describe how materials were used to develop the IP stemming from MTAs or if the materials had been shared through an MTA.

Biological material transfer within the context of research facilitates collaboration among scientists. Unique materials developed or owned by an investigator at one institution may be useful to develop another line of questioning or confirm findings at another locale. Materials transferred for research are typically associated with biological sciences. The Material Transfer Agreement solidifies the terms and conditions for the exchange of materials.

As a matter of convenience, SDSU has agreed to abide by all terms and conditions of the  Uniform Biological MaterialTransfer Agreement (UBMTA) as published in the Federal Register on March 8, 1995 and has placed on file with the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) an accepted and signed unmodified copy of the UBMTA. Transfer of biological materials between institutions that are signatories to the UBMTA may be completed by using a brief UBMTA Implementing Letter which identifies the material and the parties and confirms that the transfer is being made under the terms of the UBMTA. To use the UBMTA, complete the implementing letter and submit it to Research Support Services; .

Transfers involving proprietary materials and/or commercial entities may require greater levels of protection and the more detailed Proprietary Material Transfer Agreement may be preferred or required. In addition, for non-proprietary materials or transfers to non-profit entities, the Simple Agreement for Transfer of Non-proprietary Biological Materials may be used in lieu of the UBMTA. This form is shorter and contains fewer restrictions and reporting requirements. Contact the Technology Transfer Office for any questions about the appropriate form to use, if needed.