Material transfer agreement
A Material transfer agreement (MTA) is a contract that governs the transfer of tangible research materials between two organizations, when the recipient intends to use it for his or her own research purposes. The MTA defines the rights of the provider and the recipient with respect to the materials and any derivatives. Biological materials, such as reagents, cell lines, plasmids, and vectors, are the most frequently transferred materials, but MTAs may also be used for other types of materials, such as chemical compounds and even some types of software.
Three types of MTAs are most common at academic institutions: transfer between academic or research institutions, transfer from academia to industry, and transfer from industry to academia. Each call for different terms and conditions.
An example was the Biological Materials Transfer Project, part of the Science Commons project, that facilitated transfers between non-profit institutions, integrating existing standard agreements and new Science Commons contracts.
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