More key forms digitized by Office of Industry Alliances and Technology Commercialization

After launching an online Invention Disclosure Form last year, the Office of Industry Alliances and Technology Commercialization (IATC) has followed up this year by digitizing and streamlining its non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and material transfer agreement (MTA) request procedures.

An NDA, also sometimes referred to as a confidential disclosure agreement (CDA), defines the permitted use and distribution of non-public information (e.g., a research proposal detailing unpublished discoveries) that you provide or receive. Industry partners typically require an NDA prior to discussing any sensitive or proprietary information with UC Santa Cruz faculty, students or staff in connection with a potential research collaboration. An NDA is not intended to cover transfers of tangible research materials, for which an MTA should be used.

An MTA controls an exchange of tangible materials (e.g., cell lines, chemicals, software, models, robots) between UC Santa Cruz and other organizations for research purposes. An MTA defines the rights of the providing scientists, recipient scientists, and their respective organizations with regard to materials, derivatives, and inventions that may result from the use of the transferred material.

An NDA or MTA is often the first step in forming a research collaboration with an industry or institutional partner, and the new web-based NDA request form and MTA request form greatly facilitate and expedite negotiation of these agreements by IATC. Once IATC receives a completed request form, we review the form information, reference our database for similar agreements and follow-up with the requestor within a few days. We also share the form information with the Office of Research Compliance Administration (ORCA), which helps ensure that all UC Santa Cruz research is conducted ethically and consistent with regulatory and organizational requirements.

Early feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Faculty members appreciate the streamlined approach and being able to start the industry agreements process with a familiar Google Form. We’ve shared this change with department chairs in the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences and Baskin School of Engineering, and we are now going to each department to introduce ourselves and share information about all the services IATC has to offer.

IATC has processed hundreds of NDAs, MTAs and other industry agreements, and is seeing more and more demand every year. UC Santa Cruz has proven itself a first-class research institution, and industry is increasingly taking notice. IATC looks forward to further campus engagement with faculty, students, and staff to promote scientific advancement and collaboration.

Feel free to explore the new NDA request form and MTA request form and contact me at 831–459–3271 or with any questions about the forms or industry agreements in general at UC Santa Cruz.