Why do I need an MTA?

For the owner (or licensee), an MTA facilitates collaborative research, but also restricts the use of the material to non-commercial research. An MTA can reduce any legal liability for the use of the material. Finally, the terms of the MTA can help the provider company or institution to gain access to the results of the research. This can be for both information or commercial exploitation.

It is important that the Technology Transfer Office is made aware of and can review all MTAs. This is important so that the University does not agree to terms that may be in conflict with the rules of funding agencies, other ongoing research or intellectual property (IP)


Often when commercial organisations are involved they will try to restrict or delay the publication of research results. The Technology Transfer Office at the University of Vienna understands the wishes of other companies but any such restrictions should not prevent publication occurring or being excessively delayed. In most cases the partner company or institution will be shown the publication in advance and allowed time to remove confidential information or to prepare for a patent filing. The control over the content to be published is limited to the removal of their own confidential information.

Intellectual property (IP) rights

Any IP generated by externally funded research is initially owned by the University of Vienna. However, many companies or institutions try to claim full ownership of IP generated for themselves, or to ask for free licences to the research results. However an agreement such as this would mean that the provider is, in effect, obtaining free contract research. If this eventually leads to a commercial product, there is no return either to the inventor or the University of Vienna. An option for a paid licence is a common solution.

When the partner is another institution then IP rights tend not to be much of an issue, and the parties can agree on a suitable return for the providing institution.