A university/industry research collaboration is formalized by a Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA). The sponsor and faculty member agree on the specifics of the work and a tentative budget. The final budget and all other aspects of the final contract are negotiated via the Sponsored Program Services (SPS) on the Storrs campus or the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) at the Health Center. The contract addresses a variety of issues including amount of funding, scope of work, IP rights, governing law, etc.
Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) or Confidential Disclosure Agreements (CDAs) are used to protect the confidentiality of an invention during evaluation by potential licensees. CDAs/NDAs also protect proprietary information of third parties that UConn researchers need to review in order to conduct research or to evaluate research opportunities. UConn enters into CDAs/NDAs for university proprietary information shared with someone outside of UConn. CDAs/NDAs can be prepared or reviewed and signed by the SPS, the ORSP or TCS.
Yes, but the university must execute a Material Transfer Agreement (MTAs) in each case. MTAs are used for incoming and outgoing materials at UConn, especially for outgoing materials to industry, and are administered by TCS. These agreements describe the terms under which UConn researchers and outside researchers may share materials, typically for research or evaluation purposes. Intellectual property rights can be endangered if materials are used without a proper MTA. Material transfers going out of UConn must be accompanied by a formal agreement that addresses a variety of issues including definition of the materials, ownership, licensing rights, publication, etc. MTAs will be generated, reviewed and negotiated by the SPS, the ORSP or TCS.
Can I accept a contract from a company to provide non-research services that support their development?
Fee for Services Agreements (FSAs) are used in those cases where UConn may perform service-for-a-fee, which is essentially running previously developed tests on a sponsor’s materials, if such work is consistent with a department’s academic mission, and if UConn is uniquely qualified and positioned to do so. Such work is not research, and fee funds cannot be used to conduct research. The material and data provided, as well as those generated, may be proprietary to the sponsor. A pre-agreed Statement of Work is required, and to avoid problems, the Principle Investigator (PI) should not vary from it or any other relevant agreed upon conditions. FSAs are negotiated by the SPS, or the purchasing department of the Health Center.
Yes through an Option Agreement. Option Agreements are entered into with third parties wishing to evaluate the technology prior to entering into a full license agreement. Option clauses within research agreements describe the conditions under which UConn preserves the opportunity for a third party to negotiate a license for intellectual property. Option clauses are often provided in SRAs to corporate research sponsors.