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Material Transfer Agreements

About These Documents

A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is a contract between the provider of material and the recipient. It grants the recipient a licence to use the proprietary material and ensures that both parties understand how the materials can be used. MTAs govern issues such as ownership of derivatives and modifications of the materials, the transfer of risk, limits on use, confidentiality of information in relation to the materials and rights to inventions, and research results arising out of use of the materials. Just as research sponsorship agreements and confidentiality agreements can affect the ownership and dissemination of research results, so too can MTAs.


All agreements must be reviewed by the Innovations & Partnerships Office (IPO) to make sure they comply with U of T policies, before they are sent to the third party.

The fastest way to get a MTA signed by U of T is to use the standard university template, found below. This will help to reduce negotiation times. To request an MTA:

  • Email IPO at innovations.partnerships@utoronto.ca. Please provide the following in your email:
    1. Your full contact information including your name, department, university affiliation (i.e. faculty, staff, student, etc), email address and mailing address.
    2. A list of all parties involved and complete contact information.
    3. Outline the material, equipment or data being exchanged.
    4. Specify the funding source (fund number) being used, if applicable.
    5. Alert us to any important deadlines.
  • IPO will initiate the negotiation process using the U of T standard template, found below, and will contact external parties well in advance of the proposed exchange.

Following the execution of the research agreement, all project participants will be expected to complete a Confidential Information & Intellectual Property (“CIIP”) Agreement.


Biological Material Transfer Agreement
  • Used when transferring biological material to/ from another university or a non-profit organization. The BMTA is a universally recognized agreement with extensive terms suitable for most universities.
Biological Material Transfer Agreement for Evaluation Purposes
  • Used when transferring biological material to industry for evaluation purposes.
Biological Material Transfer Agreement for Research Purposes
  • Used with industry after the company has evaluated the material, deemed it appropriate for their use and would like to license the material.

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