Both intellectual property and real property are valuable to Augusta University and other parties with whom Augusta University collaborates.
To protect both parties' interests we enter into agreements to protect the property, Augusta University, and Augusta University employees involved. The legally binding agreements are signed by only a few individuals as appointed by the president of Augusta University and may not be executed by any other Augusta University employee.
Material transfer agreements (MTA) permit the exchange of real property with non-profit institutions or with for-profit companies. Since every institution and company has unique interests, there is no "standard agreement." Each agreement is negotiated through the Office of Innovation Commercialization (OIC). Since Augusta University shares many common interests with other non-profit organizations, the negotiations are usually rapid. However, negotiations with for-profit companies can take longer since their interests are so different from those of Augusta University. The OIC responds to the other party quickly. However, there are times when the other party takes a long period of time to work on the agreement even though the OIC constantly urges them to move the process along.
Confidential disclosure agreements (CDA) or non-disclosure agreements (NDA) are the same agreement with a different name. A CDA allows parties to share with each other secret information that for a period of time may not be shared with any other party. This includes abstracts, presentations, papers, or even casual conversation. Much like an MTA, each CDA is unique but usually less involved than an MTA, so it can be negotiated more rapidly.