Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) & Technology Transfer

Scientist at Bench

Processing Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs):  Processing an MTA is handled by the Office of Innovation Development (OID). The contact person for all MTAs is Ben Cohen, Business Development and Intellectual Property Specialist for OID. He can be contacted at (link sends e-mail).

An MTA is required before any transfer of tangible research materials between two organizations. The MTA defines the rights of the provider and the recipient with respect to the materials and any derivatives. The most frequently transferred materials are biological materials such as reagents, cell lines, plasmids, and vectors. However MTAs may also be used for other types of materials such as chemical compounds and some types of software. Below are some aspects of the MTA review process at Children’s National and Children’s Research Institute.

All inbound MTAs MUST be reviewed by legal counsel for Children’s Research Institute. Legal currently has an agreed upon turnaround time of up to two weeks for review (10 business days). 

Institutional Signing Authority:  Mendel Tuchman, MD, Chief Research Officer is the institutional signing authority for all MTAs executed on behalf of Children’s National and Children’s Research Institute. In no event, should an individual who is a student, post-doctoral, fellow, resident or other trainee execute an MTA. In addition to terms that apply from the Children’s National Signature Policy and Procedure, please keep in mind that contractors, consultants, and other individuals who are not employees of Children’s National are also not allowed to sign MTAs.

MTAs will not be signed by the Institutional Signing Authority without proof of legal review.

Please note that while the typical MTA can be negotiated within the time period set forth above, a review of an MTA is complicated and possibly delayed by factors such as:

  • Safety and facility issues

  • The number of parties involved – for example, if the Provider is obtaining the materials from a third party company or supplier

  • International Transfers, which have to comply with export/import rules and various shipping rules

  • Intellectual Property rights and restrictions on publication or presentation

  • Funding Issues

  • Non-standard MTA terms

  • Regulatory/Legal issues