Scientists have traditionally freely shared research materials, and an important criterion for scientific publication was the ability of other researchers to experimentally reproduce the published results and test them. The ability to replicate results often depends on access to the underlying biological materials or information, but this access is not guaranteed today. What`s changed? Probably the most significant change has been the narrowing of the gap between basic research and commercial developments, particularly in health research, but also in agriculture4. Materials that would once have been almost exclusively useful for basic research are increasingly seen as a direct commercial value, and this trend has given a new generation of researchers and companies focused on the use of innovative research tools. to discover new commercially valuable features. genes or connections. For companies in particular, they may be reluctant to share their “crown jewels” without ensuring that their business interests are protected. As a result of the Bayh-Dole Act, many universities are actively using the patent system to transfer research results to industry. In addition, universities are conducting more and more industry-supported research. As a result, they may have similar concerns to private companies.
A company that has traditionally had little regard for a university`s use of its property could therefore be concerned that its proprietary materials would lead to valuable inventions or even the promotion of a competitor`s business interests. Universities and non-profit research organizations are also much more aware and protective of research materials. The result has been a slow but steady evaporation of the unrestricted transfer of research materials between scientists in general and, in particular, between industry scientists and academics. An MTA almost always states that the equipment has no warranties. A typical guarantee clause, usually written in capital letters, may be that the sharing of materials between academics is generally less problematic than transfers between industry and science, not least because the cultures and motivations of the different institutions involved in the exchanges are similar. In the United States, most universities transfer materials for academic research without authorization or notification. These transfers are often made with the nIH-UBMTA9, the NIH Simple Letter Agreement or an equivalent benign agreement.