Research Support | Industry - Things To Be Aware Of

Things To Be Aware Of

When considering engaging with industry, it is important to protect yourself and ensure that none of your research is compromised.  You should contact Invent and Research Support (Research and Innovation Support –RIS) if you are considering engaging with industry and we will guide you through the process and help ensure that your interests are protected.  Some of the important things to consider in relation to this are included below. 

Confidentiality / NDA’s

If you are considering sharing information with a company, you need to ensure that your research is not compromised.  Notify a member of RIS and we will advise you on the best course of action.  It is likely that a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) may be required.  An NDA, also known as a confidentiality agreement (CA), is an agreement used when one party wishes to share confidential information with another.  It is a written contract that creates a confidential relationship between the parties, usually for a defined period of time.  Where confidential information is passing both ways, a mutual or two-way agreement can be signed.  NDA’s are commonly signed in DCU when two parties are considering undertaking collaborative research or business and need further information in order to evaluate the potential relationship.  Failure to adhere to the terms agreed in the NDA can result in one of the parties being sued by the other.

To specifically request an NDA, please send an email to your Invent Business Development Manager, supplying the details and purpose of the engagement and cc Kieran O'Dwyer in Research Support.  A new NDA must be produced by Invent for each engagement and will not be entered into retrospectively.  It should always be put in place prior to the exchange of information taking place.

If you receive an NDA from a third party, please forward it to your Invent Business Development Manager for review prior to institutional signature by an authorised university representative.  Please note that, unless you are working in a wholly personal capacity, you are not authorised to sign agreements on behalf of DCU.

Materials and MTAs

MTA stands for Material Transfer Agreement.  It is used when materials are being transferred from one party to another.  The materials can range from biological materials to chemical compounds or engineering prototypes.  Typically, the organisation sending out the material prefers to use its own MTA.

If you are either receiving material or wish to send material, please contact a member of the Invent team for advice on the agreement and to ensure that the document is signed by the appropriate signatory.

Intellectual Property (IP)

Intellectual Property (IP) is the general term for intangible property rights that are a result of intellectual effort.  By its nature, there is always the possibility that IP can be developed through research projects and engagements with industry.  IP can include discoveries, improvements, inventions, concepts, patents, trademarks, ideas, registered designs, drawings, utility models, design rights, copyright, database rights, trade secrets and other confidential information, technical information, technology, know-how, business ideas, concepts and goodwill, whether registered or not.  Inventors of DCU IP benefit financially from any revenues generated from their invention.  Further information on the DCU IP policy can be found here.

RIS coordinate and negotiate IP terms in all research agreements and industry-academic collaborative agreements.  If you are entering into a collaborative project, contact a member of the RIS team and we’ll work with you to ensure that your IP is protected.


See Also

DCU Invent Homepage

Invent team & Kieran O'Dwyer contact details

Invent Licensing Opportunities