Research & Sponsored Programs

Technology Transfer

Partners in Discovery

USD participates in growing the state and regional economies by sharing innovations and expertise with industry partners.  Along with well-established basic research conducted across many disciplines, applied research and commercialization of discoveries are emerging areas of increased activity for USD.

How we work with industry
  • Seek patent protection or other protective agreements for intellectual property 
  • Link faculty expertise with industry partners
  • Negotiate sponsored research and development agreements
  • License protected intellectual property to businesses
  • Execute non-disclosure agreements and material transfer agreements
  • Develop plans for commercialization of inventions and copyrightable work
Non-Disclosure Agreements

A Non-Disclosure Agreement is an agreement between the University and another party and is used to facilitate discussions of confidential information.  It is the first step to maintaining privacy, protecting your intellectual property, and preserving property rights.

Material Transfer Agreements

A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is a legal contract that establishes the terms and conditions for transferring tangible research materials between the owner and recipient of those materials.  The TTO processes MTA's for both incoming and outgoing materials.  Additionally, the TTO works with the Institutional Biosafety Committee when processing incoming MTA's that involve biological substances, the Animal Care and Use Committee when the materials are animals, and the Institutional Review Board when the materials are human tissue.

New Inventions or Copyrights

The TTO works with faculty, staff, and students to commercialize their creations, which include patentable inventions, trade secrets, and copyrights, for example.  Once an innovator can concisely define an invention and substantiate that the invention has been reduced to practice, an Invention Disclosure Form should be completed and submitted to the TTO.  Reduction to practice can be proven by a draft of a publication, a draft of experimental results, showing a prototype, or a model. To ensure proper protection for your innovation be sure to submit an Invention Disclosure Form or a Copyright Disclosure Form prior to any public disclosure of your innovation.  A public disclosure may be a presentation, paper, abstract, online disclosure, or talking to others about the innovation.  A Copyright Disclosure is similar to an invention discussion except it pertains to original works of authorship.  BOR policy generally provides for personal ownership of works of scholarship and creations of original works of art and literature.  In most cases these do not need to be disclosed.  However, researchers should disclose copyrighted technologies with commercial potential such as software and some no-software materials.  

Additional resources for faculty and staff are available in the myUSD Portal.


Competitive Edge

U researchers partner with industry Researchers at USD collaborate with industry partners to bring innovations from the lab to the marketplace.