On her recent trip to the UK, Professor Dianne Nicol met with colleagues at the Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences at Cambridge University which enabled her to present on some work of the CLG’s Material Transfer Team. In particular, she presented some results from empirical work from interviews conducted with Australian university technology transfer offices.
The presentation was attended by a small group of interested people – academics including Dr Kathleen Liddell (Director of the Centre for Law Medicine and the Life Sciences), post doctoral researcher, John Liddicoat (who also holds an adjunct position with the Centre for Law and Genetics) and Dr Jennifer Molloy Coordinator of OpenPlants as well as Cambridge professionals implementing these types of agreements.
The presentation was followed by in-depth and detailed discussion about material transfer agreements, particularly for transfer of synthetic biology and the reliance on material transfer agreements as a tool for protecting intellectual property especially where patents are not utilised. The group shared their experiences relating to the usefulness and purposes of MTAs as well as outlining their involvement with standard agreement and simplification of the transfer process. As aforementioned, the CLGs Material Transfer Team, has interviewed professionals in similar positions in Australian Universities, and this enabled an informal comparison of views from those in similar positions in different jurisdictions. Professor Dianne Nicol would like to extend her thanks to those who attended and participated in this discussion, and to her Cambridge hosts for the opportunity to present.