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BFN Agreement Toolkit

1) As the needs of each partner are different, BFN can direct your organization to the best investigator or to an assembled team of multi-disciplinary investigators. It has variety of internal mechanisms to champion your needs across its network of Canada’s top 25 universities.

2) Once introductions are completed and both parties are ready to move to the next stage, BFN can also prepare a transparent, customized agreement (contract) which is specific to your inquiry and which optimizes the synergies created when industry and academia work together to solve challenging problems. Alternatively, a given network university may negotiate directly with your organization and the university investigator. There is no single fix or generic template agreement to address all the relationships possible.

3) It is always important for both parties to agree upon the level and type of partnership (formal, informal, one time, long term) and to set aside enough time to strike agreement which is doable, given the resources provided.

4) Negotiating terms and conditions is an art form which requires mutual trust and “win-win scenarios” for buy-in.  Agreement parameters must define what each side is offering to the other, in terms of:

a) roles and responsibilities, ways of working and contact details,
b) objectives and goals, deliverables
c) project specifications,
d) timeline, milestones and deadlines,
e) cash (budget) and/or in-kind contributions

Industry may support research with both cash and in-kind contributions. In-kind contributions to a research project may include equipment, software, materials, logistical support of field work, provision of services, use of company facilities, salaries of scientific staff, travel.

f) Intellectual Property Ownership Policy

5. Boilerplate Agreements. Most University’s Industry Partnerships and Research Services offices have their own customized boilerplate agreements. The agreement process becomes more arduous and patience if more than 2 parties are involved.

6. Depending upon the scope of the interaction proposed, various types of agreements which can be foreseen include:

a) Service Agreements  – Fee for service/access to core facilities
b) Data Sharing Agreements – used to transfer data and information
c) Research Agreements – used to conduct research projects
d) Confidentiality Agreements – used to share confidential information
e) Material Transfer Agreements – used to transfer research materials