Material Transfer Agreements

OverviewBack to Top

A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is a contract that governs the transfer of tangible research materials between two organizations, when the recipient intends to use the materials for his or her own research purposes. An MTA defines the rights of both the provider and the recipient with respect to the materials and any derivatives.

Biological materials, such as reagents, cell lines, plasmids, and vectors, are the most frequently transferred materials, but MTAs may also be used for other types of materials, such as chemical compounds and even some types of software and datasets.

  • MTAs can be incoming (UW is receiving materials) or outgoing (UW is sending materials to another organization).
  • An MTA must always be in place before a PI receives material from an outside source (incoming MTA) or sends material to another organization (outgoing MTA).
  • Material transfer agreements are signed by the Office of Industrial Partnerships and require a WISPER record.

Educational or Non-Profit Organizations (UBMTA)Back to Top

Uniform Biological Materials Transfer Agreement (UBMTA)

UW-Madison, along with many other research institutions, is a signatory of the Uniform Bioligical Materials Transfer Agreement (UBMTA). If a collaboratiing institution is also a signatory of this agreement, materials can be transferred under the terms of the UBMTA upon execution of a Implementing Letter for the particular transfer.

Directions for Completing a UBMTA Implementing Letter (Incoming Materials)

  1. Confirm that the provider institution is a signatory to the UBMTA (see List of UBMTA Signatories)
  2. Complete all applicable sections on page 1 of the UBMTA Implementing Letter Template (doc) (Provider, Recipient, Material Description, Termination Date, Transmittal Fee).
  3. Complete and sign the Recipient Scientist section on page 2 of the Implementing Letter.
  4. Forward the completed Implementing Letter to the provider scientist and request signature. Also request the name and email address of the individual to which the fully executed UBMTA should be sent (this is often an individual in a technology transfer office, not the provider scientist).
  5. Once the signed Implementing Letter is returned by the provider scientist, Create a WISPER record. Attach the signed Implementing Letter to the Attachments tab and include any other relevant documents.  Include the contact name and email address for the fully executed UBMTA in the submission instructions on the General tab.
  6. The recipient scientist must sign the WISPER record and request chair approval. 
  7. After signature and chair approval, route the WISPER record to the CALS Research Division.
  8. If the Implementing Letter is complete, the CALS Research Division will forward the WISPER record to OIP for signature and return to the provider institution.
  9. The recipient scientist will receive notice via email that the WISPER record has been completed and that shipment of material from the provider can be requested. A fully executed copy of the UBMTA will be available as an attachment to the WISPER record.

AddgeneBack to Top

The University has negotiated a “master agreement” with Addgene. To request materials from Addgene:

  1. Create a WISPER record for the plasmid you want to order from Addgene.
  2. The PI must sign the record and request chair approval.
  3. Go to http://www.addgene.org/pgvec1?f=c&cmd=showfile&file=colinfo and complete your order.
  4. Once you have completed your order, you will receive an order number.  Place a pdf version of your order and the order number on the WISPER record.
  5. Forward the WISPER record to the CALS Research Division.

Upon receipt of the WISPER record and verification that the order number is included, the MTA request will be forwarded to OIP.  OIP will confirm the order online and Addgene will ship your sample within 2 business days.  When completed the PI will receive notice via email that the record has been completed.

American Type Culture Collection (ATCC)Back to Top

The University has negotiated a “master agreement” with ATCC. To request materials from ATCC:

  1. Create a WISPER record for the material you want to order from ATCC.
  2. The PI must sign the WISPER record and request chair approval.
  3. Attach the ATCC master agreement to the Attachments tab on the WISPER record.
  4. Place your order with ATCC.  Attach your order form to the Attachments tab on the WISPER record.
  5. When you receive the materials, place the packing slip on the Attachments tab on the WISPER record.
  6. Route WISPER record to the CALS Research Division.

When the WISPER record is received by the CALS Research Division, it will be forwarded to OIP to complete the WISPER record.  The PI will receive an email regent notice that the record has been completed.

Other OrganizationsBack to Top

If the organization that you are requesting materials from is not a UBMTA signatory, and is not Addgene or ATCC, ask if they have a standard MTA template.  Most commercial and international sponsors have standard MTA forms that they require recipient scientists to use.  Nonprofit and educational sponsors may also have standard MTA templates that require review and possibly negotiation prior to shipment of materials.

  1. Request a copy of the sponsor’s standard MTA template. When requesting an MTA template:
    • Request the template in Microsoft Word format.
    • Request contact information for the individual responsible for discussing or negotiating MTAs
    • Ask how the sponsor prefers to receive MTA requests.  For example, is PDF signature by email acceptable, or must paper copies be mailed?
  2. When you receive the MTA template, review it and complete any applicable sections (material description, shipping address, recipient scientist contact information, etc).
  3. Create a WISPER record and attach the MTA and any other relevant documents to the Attachments tab. Include the sponsor contact and submission instructions on the General tab.
  4. The recipient scientist must sign the WISPER record and request chair approval.
  5. After signature and chair approval, route the WISPER record to the CALS Research Division.
  6. Upon receipt of the WISPER record, the CALS Research Division will review the MTA template and, in cooperation with OIP, will contact the sponsor to revise the terms, if needed. Once appropriate revisions are accepted, the MTA will be forwarded to OIP for signature.
  7. When both parties have signed the MTA, the recipient scientist will receive notice via email that the WISPER record has been completed and that shipment of material from the provider can be requested. A fully executed copy of the MTA will be available as an attachment to the WISPER record.

MTA ContactsBack to Top

For additional questions or assistance with MTAs, contact:

Vince Borleske
Preaward Manager, CALS Research Division
(608) 2890-3180
vincent.borleske@wisc.edu

Comments are closed.