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Material Transfer Agreement


A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) defines the legal terms and conditions of the transfer of tangible research property between the owner and the recipient:

  1. typically the receiving party intends to use it for his/her own research purposes without a planned research collaboration between scientists
  2. intellectual property and commercial rights are not granted
  3. research purpose only use requirement
  4. human subject use usually not permitted
  5. liability responsibilities
  6. recovery of direct delivery costs possible ($2,000 maximum)


Examples of tangible research property include:

  1. models
  2. devices
  3. designs
  4. computer software
  5. storage media containing machine instructions
  6. text
  7. cell lines
  8. antibodies
  9. recombinant materials
  10. chemical compounds and compositions
  11. formulations
  12. plant varieties
  13. laboratory notebooks and records related to discoveries

University Support

Boston College Office for Technology Transfer and Licensing (OTTL) executes MTAs on behalf of the university.

  1. Individuals interested in sending or receiving material must submit a completed Material Transfer Request Form (see sidebar).
    1. A Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UBMTA) is a standard MTA for the transfer of non-proprietary biological material for mainly non-profit institutions, like Boston College, that have signed the UBMTA Master Agreement.  Execution of the MTA’s under the UBMTA is a simple, quick, and straight forward process.
    2. Transfer of materials from companies to Boston College is often a much larger process.