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About MTA

Learn about Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs).

Material Transfer Agreements

  • Material Transfer Agreement (MTA):
    • A legal contract that establishes terms, conditions and a record of a transfer of tangible research materials between the owner and a recipient for research purposes
    • Required for material coming into and going out of UCSD
  • Like any other contract, the terms of an MTA must be developed or carefully negotiated to maintain our legal obligations as a public university as well as follow UC policy


All MTAs are routed through the eMTA system.

  • OCGA’s MTA team is responsible for negotiating MTA terms for transfers with:
    • Materials coming into UCSD which do not include payment terms
    • All human, blood and tissue being sent out from UCSD
    • Outgoing data, software or information that is not UCSD intellectual property
  • Office of Innovation and Commercialization will handle outgoing UCSD intellectual property (e.g. patentable material or UCSD developed technology)

Negotiation time

  • The time it takes to negotiate is based on:
    • Type of material being exchanged
    • Complexity and nature of the terms (a clear and complete statement of work helps identify appropriate vs. inappropriate terms)
    • Foreign vs. national entity
    • For-profit vs. non-profit entity
    • Responsiveness of the parties
  • For example:
    • Academic to/ from Academic can be less protracted
    • For profit to/ from Academic can be very protracted
    • Foreign to/ from Academic can be very protracted

We understand that the disparity in negotiation times (and degree of success) can be frustrating for the academic community. We do what we can to hasten negotiations. OCGA is on your side!