Material Transfer Agreement
Requirements for Material Transfer Agreements
Material Transfer Agreements (MTA) describe the terms under which Pennsylvania State University and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center researchers can share materials, typically for research or evaluation purposes. These agreements are administered by the Office of Technology Development (OTD). In general, an MTA is required in order to receive incoming materials or distribute outgoing materials to a third party.
If a Penn State College of Medicine or Penn State Hershey Medical Center researcher is requesting materials from a company or university or you are Penn State College of Medicine or Penn State Hershey Medical Center researcher requesting materials from a company or university, please contact OTD to facilitate obtaining the necessary MTA. For incoming materials from ATCC, ASU Biodesign Institute, and Jackson Labs, please download and complete the necessary provisional memo.
If you are a faculty/staff member interested in sending your materials out to a third party or a third party would like to obtain materials from Penn State University or Penn State Hershey Medical Center, please contact OTD for help with an MTA.
Exception to the Requirement for an MTA
Penn State College of Medicine or Penn State Hershey Medical Center Principal Investigators may send Materials to outside entities WITHOUT a formal MTA if ALL of the following are true:
- The Material is NOT or does NOT contain any of the following:
- Human-derived tissues, fluids, or samples of any kind.
- A controlled substance containing pathogens or other harmful biological agents subject to special guidelines and/or procedures.
- Technology described in, or is part of, an Invention Disclosure that Penn State University or Penn State Hershey Medical Center is protecting or has protected under one or more patents or pending patents.
- Intellectual property exclusively licensed by Penn State University to another party.
- Any Material that was received from another party under an agreement (e.g., other Material Transfer Agreements, sponsored research agreements, or commercial purchases with use limitations) that prohibits or limits redistribution or further transfer of such material.
- The Material will be transferred to a recipient who meets all the following criteria:
- The Principal Investigator is at a non-profit and/or educational research institution.
- Plans to use the Material for non-commercial academic research purposes only.
- Will not use the Material for research, testing, or treatment involving human subjects or for making any decisions relating to human diagnosis or care.
Compliance with the requirements for sending materials without an MTA must be documented, including a written commitment from the recipient as to compliance with the requirements of part 2 above. Please have recipient complete an MTA Acknowledgement Form and return it to the Office of Technology Development.
If your situation does NOT meet all of the above criteria, please contact OTD to have an MTA developed for the transfer of the Materials.
The PI may also choose to obtain an MTA if they wish to:
- Limit whether and to whom the Material is resent (e.g., without an agreement, the Material could be sent to others without notification to the Penn State PI)
- Review any publications relating to use of the Material prior to publication
- Limit how the Material will be used
- Protect the ownership or potential patentability of the Material or any derivatives of the Material; or
- Exchange the Material for other material or services to be provided by the recipient.
Note 1: Generally, when the Material is being sent to another non-profit institution in the United States and is not live animals (rats, mice, etc.), OTD will use the NIH-sponsored Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UBMTA). If needed, OTD can work with you to develop a customized MTA for your Material or, if the Material is being provided to a for-profit entity, develop the appropriate agreement.
Note 2: Materials to be sent outside of the United States
If you are shipping materials outside of the U.S., the Material may be subject to federal regulation, including export control laws that define the conditions under which certain information, technologies, and commodities can be transmitted to individuals outside of the U.S. (including U.S. citizens that are outside of the U.S.) or in the case of information, to certain foreign nationals within and outside of the U.S. OTD will review with you conditions that may trigger review of the intended transfer under U.S. export control laws and regulations.
To request an MTA to transfer materials from Penn State University or Penn State Hershey Medical Center to another party, please complete the (Outgoing MTA Request Form) and forward to OTD.
To request an MTA to receive materials from another party, please complete the (Incoming MTA Request Form) and forward to OTD.