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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Science & Research

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MTA v. CRADA -- Which Agreement to Use?

Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs), and Confidential Disclosure Agreements (CDAs) are legal agreements used with outside organizations to enter into collaborations or to have confidential discussions leading to collaborations. While it best to consult directly with your Center/Office Technology Transfer Representative, the following provides general guidance through contrasting the transactional needs that FDA scientists may have:

 

No Agreement NecessaryMTA or CDA NeededCRADA Needed
Material or information is not confidential.Material or information is proprietary.Exchange of material or information takes place over a period of time for a collaborative purpose
Material is easily obtained.Information cannot be obtained without an agreement that poses confidentiality obligations on the party receiving the information.Interchange of ideas, scientific expertise, staff, and other resources needed to carry out the collaboration; FDA is permitted to receive funding from the non-Federal collaborator to carry out the CRADA research.
Scientific procedure is generally known.Material is a substance that embodies a trade secret.Collaboration may be the subject of FDA policy issues.
Low probability of an invention arising from the use of the material or information.No long-term, constant exchange of materials, ideas, or results anticipated. Data generated through use of material may be shared back with the provider, as specified in the MTA.Confidential information is likely to be exchanged.
  Potential for causing appearance of individual or organizational conflict of interest.
  An invention is likely to be made during the CRADA research.