University of Minnesota
Office for Technology Commercialization


Office for Technology Commercialization homeOTC

For Inventors

Request Agreements

Robert Vince, medicinal chemistry researcher

Material Transfer Agreement

Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) govern the transfer of tangible research materials—such as chemicals, plant- or animal-derived material or software—from one institution to another. They are legal contracts used to protect intellectual property rights, limit liability and ensure that researchers are properly credited for their work.

Incoming MTAs

Incoming MTAs govern the transfer of material from another research institution, non-profit or for-profit to the U of M. All incoming MTAs must be reviewed by the Sponsored Projects Administration.

Outgoing MTAs

Outgoing MTAs govern the transfer of material from the U of M to another research institution, non-profit or for-profit. All outgoing MTAs are managed by the Office for Technology Commercialization.

When Is an MTA Required?

An MTA is always required if the material is:

  • human biological material
  • hazardous
  • disclosed as an invention
  • licensed
  • has potential commercial marketability or significant research potential
  • controlled by an existing agreement with a third party that restricts the transfer of the material
  • being sent to a foreign institution
  • being provided to a for-profit institution
  • will be used for in vivo research
  • is confidential, not published or not publicly disclosed
To request an MTA for outgoing materials, download and complete the request form, then e-mail the request to

Word DocOutgoing MTA Request Form [Word]

When Is an MTA Not Required?

If the material does not fit the criteria listed above, an MTA is not required. However, please contact if you have any questions about how to properly protect your research.

Non-Disclosure Agreement

The purpose of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)—also called a confidentiality agreement (CDA)—is to protect intellectual property when two parties share information about confidential research.

Most companies who contact a researcher to discuss his or her work are either interested in sponsoring and/or licensing the research.

Sponsoring Research

If the company wants to discuss a new collaboration or future project, they may be interested in sponsoring research. Contact SPA at

Licensing Research

If the company wants to discuss a previously reported technology they are most likely interested in licensing technology. Contact the appropriate technology strategy manager at OTC or request a CDA by filling out the form below.

Word Doc CDA-NDA Request Form [Word]

Plant Material Testing Agreement (pMTA)

The Plant Material Testing Agreement (pMTA) controls the transfer of plant materials from the owner or authorized licensee to another party, generally an institution for research purposes or a grower who plans to test the plant variety in their environment.

The agreement defines issues such as ownership of the materials, the modifications and derivatives, sports made or found by the recipient, confidentiality to protect intellectual property rights, and the rights to inventions and research results derived from the materials.

Download and complete the form below, then e-mail to If you have questions, contact a technology strategy manager.

Word DocpMTA Request Form [Word]

More Information

Tips for Requesting Agreements

1. Contact the right office for your agreement.

Incoming MTAs
Contact SPA:

Outgoing MTAs
Contact OTC:

NDA or CDA, Sponsoring Research
Contact SPA:

NDA or CDA, Licensing Research
Contact an OTC technology strategy manager

Submit form to OTC:

2. Fill out agreement request forms completely.

Submission of an incomplete form can cause unnecessary delays. If you are unsure how to answer a question on the form, please contact the corresponding office for help.

3. Allow plenty of time for your agreement request to be processed prior to transferring material or confidential information.

An outgoing MTA or NDA can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months to process. While OTC and SPA will process your request within 7-10 business days of receipt, we cannot predict how long it will take the recipient institution to processes the agreement. The more time you allow the better.


Click on the links below for information, guides and profiles related to technology commercialization.

Confidentiality agreements

Sharing research materials