The transfer of materials is an important component of today’s research in the biological sciences. In keeping with academic policy and the objective of basic research, it is the policy of OSU that results of research are promptly and openly available to others. Biological materials can be patented and then licensed for commercial purposes. However, more often than not, OSU CHS Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) will license biological materials (cell lines, enzymes, vectors, etc.) for commercial purposes without patent protection. Since legal fees are minimal in cases where no patent protection is sought, laboratories can receive more immediate financial benefit from the licensing of unpatented materials. ORSP can assist investigators who wish to transfer or receive materials from academic or industry colleagues. OSU CHS will not accept materials which would prohibit publication of research results, or disallow OSU to own discoveries which may arise from the use of material received from other laboratories.
Where appropriate, ORSP encourages investigators to use the NIH-recommended simple letter agreement to cover the transfer of unpatented OSU materials to academic/non-profit labs. The investigator can distribute such materials using the form below, which should be signed by the investigator providing the materials, the investigator receiving the materials and an authorized representative of the recipient institution. ORSP does not sign the simple letter agreement and need not be involved in these transfers unless the recipient institution requests changes or modifications to the agreement.
It is important to remember that there are several situations for which the simple letter agreement may not be appropriate:
Please contact ORSP so that an appropriate MTA can be prepared for any of the types of materials listed above.
All material transfer agreements covering materials to be received by OSU investigators must be reviewed and signed by ORSP to ensure that the provisions contained are consistent with the university’s policies. Please contact ORSP for assistance with any incoming material MTAs.
Companies interested in receiving materials are required to obtain a license from the university, whether the materials are to be used for internal research or commercialization purposes. Investigators should notify ORSP of any companies requesting their materials so that ORSP may negotiate and execute appropriate licensing arrangements. Please contact ORSP.
ORSP must review (and usually negotiate) all MTAs for materials provided by for-profit groups. Many of these MTAs contain intellectual property provisions that could be onerous to the recipient or are inconsistent with federal or University policies. Issues that are frequently raised include control of publication of research results, ownership of inventions arising from use of the materials and the ability to commercialize such inventions. For a more detailed discussion, see the following brochure published by the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR), entitled Materials Transfer in Academia. Please contact ORSP for assistance with any incoming material MTAs.
Questions? Please contact:
Amber Hood, Director
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Office of Research and Sponsored Programs