Share research materials

Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) describe the terms under which MIT researchers can share and receive tangible materials with researchers at other universities or with industry, typically for research or evaluation purposes.

Biological materials, such as reagents, cell lines, plasmids, and vectors, are the most frequently transferred materials, but MTAs may also be used for other types of materials, such as chemical compounds and even some types of software. The MTA defines the rights of the provider and the recipient with respect to the materials and any derivatives. Intellectual property rights may be endangered if materials are transferred without a proper MTA.


If you are transferring tangible research materials from MIT to another institution, you are encouraged to have a material transfer agreement (MTA) in place prior to transferring your material. If you are transferring tangible research materials from MIT to a company, you are strongly encouraged to have an MTA in place prior to transferring your material. An authorized member of the TLO must sign the MTA. Please contact the TLO to speak with one of our licensing officers regarding transferring your material.


To receive materials from third parties, please submit an online incoming MTA request. Completion of this form allows the TLO to evaluate the MTA with respect to MIT policy, funding source obligations, and any other obligations under MTAs with other parties. Please include the RAS/SAPweb account number for the funding sources.


To enhance our mission to strategically evaluate, protect, and license technology, the TLO is replacing our current intellectual property information management system with a modern Salesforce system, named Shirley. This system will include a new portal to help provide MIT inventors with better transparency into intellectual property activities. The TLO will provide information about Shirley and the transformation process via our website and other communications channels. If you have any immediate questions about this process or experience delays in correspondence, please contact the TLO here