It is common for academic researchers, particularly in the life sciences, to swap or share biological materials with each other. Material transfer agreements (MTAs) should govern such arrangements and are available from the IP Manager. All MTAs should be signed by the IP Manager.
Staff in the Biology and Chemistry Departments wishing to access materials from colleagues at other universities or in industry, may be invited to sign a Materials Transfer Agreement or Screening Agreement. Very often, these can present a very low cost way of accessing materials which would otherwise not be available, but the agreements can have strict conditions which need to be carefully considered prior to commitment.
Likewise, you may wish to supply samples to third parties, either for screening in their test systems or to enable independent corroboration of your findings. Before parting with such samples, you ought to consider what restrictions you and the university might wish to put upon their use, particularly if they are likely to have potential commercial value. The answer may be to ask the third party to sign one of our agreements; the IP Manager can provide support to help decide what is the most appropriate course of action in particular circumstances. This is particularly important if materials are requested by, or to be offered to, commercial organisations, where a time-limited commercial evaluation agreement will be required.