Material transfer agreements exist to facilitate the exchange of materials and associated data between researchers as well as to protect the interests of the researchers and their institutions. But this dual mandate can be a source of frustration for researchers, creating administrative burdens and slowing down collaborations. We argue here that in most cases in pre-competitive research, a simple agreement would suffice; the more complex agreements and mechanisms for their negotiation should be reserved for cases where the risks posed to the institution and the potential commercial value of the research reagents is high.
Bubela, T., Guebert, J., & Mishra, A. (2015). Use and Misuse of Material Transfer Agreements: Lessons in Proportionality from Research, Repositories, and Litigation. PLoS Biology, 13(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002060