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Must ‘MTA’ equate with ‘delay’? Material Transfer Agreements and institutional processes in Australian biomedical research


Nielsen, J and Nicol, D, Must MTA' equate with delay'? Material Transfer Agreements and institutional processes in Australian biomedical research, Journal of Law and Information Science, 25, (2) pp. 89-115. ISSN 0729-1485 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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© 2021 Journal of Law, Information & Science and Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania.


The exchange of tangible materials remains essential to biomedical research, and has become increasingly formalised, including through use of Material Transfer Agreements (‘MTAs’). While MTAs provide comfort in clarifying legal relationships, they have not been without problems. Delays in the process of exchanging materials have reportedly epitomised the modern research environment. Most Australian research institutions now have offices dealing in technology transfer and business development (‘TTOs’). These offices employ combinations of legal, business and scientific experts. In this article, we explore the impact of TTO practices on the material transfer journey. We present qualitative evidence to demonstrate that resourcing and organisational processes, in addition to levels of experience in MTA processing, affect the pace of material exchange. Our analysis may assist in streamlining transfer processes to a greater extent than standardisation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:material transfer agreements, biomedicine, patents
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Private law and civil obligations
Research Field:Intellectual property law
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in law and legal studies
UTAS Author:Nielsen, J (Associate Professor Jane Nielsen)
UTAS Author:Nicol, D (Professor Dianne Nicol)
ID Code:145708
Year Published:2021
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP140100301)
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2021-08-02
Last Modified:2021-09-02
Downloads:21 View Download Statistics

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