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Industrial Agreements

The purpose of these guidelines is to clarify the nature of grants and contracts the university receives from its industry partners and to provide guidance to prospective industry partners relating to the type of research agreements available at NDSU which will best serves its needs.

Direct Industry Sponsored Research

The Express Research Agreement provides companies a simple way to support research at NDSU. This one-page document covers the basic terms for the research funding. At the conclusion of the project, industry sponsors will receive a technical report and will have an option to negotiate a license for any technology developed under the project.  NDSU faculty and students are free to publish the research results.

The Industry Sponsored Research Agreement, which has been used by the university for many years, is a straightforward contract that more than adequately addresses the issues inherent in industry sponsored research and is intended cover a wide variety of research projects from a small project to a large, multiyear project.

NDSU hopes to minimize the extensive negotiations that often accompany custom contracts with the use of these templates.  However, these templates are not to be used for projects which utilize any federal funds. If industry is using any federal funds to support the project, the terms and conditions of the federal award will apply to any sub-award issued to the university. 

If industry is interested in utilizing any of the economic development programs run through the ND Department of Commerce, please see the North Dakota Economic Development Programs section below.

Research Agreements for Industry Sponsored Research
CategoryExpress Research AgreementIndustry Sponsored Research AgreementCustom Contract
Terms of PublicationNDSU Retains Publication RightsNDSU Retains Publications Rights (subject to Sponsor right to review)Negotiated based on State and Federal Law
Intellectual
Property Terms
NDSU owns all IP it develops during the project period and Sponsor is granted an option to License any technology developed through the research

IP ownership is determined in accordance with inventorship and US Patent Law.*  These agreements accommodate the use of either Sponsor or NDSU background IP within the research. 

The Sponsor is granted an option to license any NDSU Intellectual Property developed through the research and NDSU’s undivided interest in any Joint Intellectual Property.  NDSU is granted a license to any Sponsor Intellectual Property developed through the research for teaching and research purposes only.

Negotiated based on State and Federal Law
Scope of WorkLimited Research AreaDetailed ProtocolDetailed Protocol
Maximum DeliverableFinal Technical ReportSpecified Technical Report(s)Negotiated based on State and Federal Law
Typical Billing / Payment MethodAdvance Payment
(fixed price)
Various billing & payment options (fixed price or cost reimbursable)Negotiated based on State and Federal Law
Documentation RequiredNDSU Express Research AgreementNDSU Industry Sponsored Research AgreementIndustry Contract
Facilities & Administrative Rates†Federal Negotiated RateFederal Negotiated RateFederal Negotiated or Fully Burdened Rate

*"Sponsor Intellectual Property” is defined as the rights to any technology conceived and reduced to practice solely by sponsor personnel; “NDSU Intellectual Property” is defined as the rights to any technology conceived and reduced to practice solely by NDSU personnel; and “Joint Intellectual Property” is defined as the rights to any technology which is conceived and/or reduced to practice jointly by NDSU personnel and sponsor personnel in the performance of the research.
†Information about NDSU's current F&A Rates can be found on the Sponsored Programs website.

North Dakota Economic Development Programs

The North Dakota’s Economic Development Grant programs (Research ND, Venture Grant Phase II, or Centers of [Research] Excellence fund) have their own research agreements developed and approved by the State of North.  These standard terms apply to all program participants.

Research Agreements for North Dakota Economic Development Programs
CategoryResearch ND
Venture Grant Phase II1
Center of (Research) Excellence Agreement2
Terms of  PublicationNDSU Retains Publication Rights (with Sponsor right to review)NDSU Retains Publication Rights (with Sponsor right to review)
Intellectual Property Terms

IP ownership is determined in accordance with inventorship and US Patent Law3.  These agreements accommodate the use of either Sponsor or NDSU background IP within the research. 

The Sponsor is granted an option to license any NDSU Intellectual Property developed through the research and NDSU’s un-divided interest in any Joint Intellectual Property.  NDSU is granted a license to any Sponsor Intellectual Property developed through the research for teaching and research purposes only.

IP ownership is determined in accordance with inventorship and US Patent Law3.  These agreements accommodate the use of either Sponsor or NDSU background IP within the research. 

The Sponsor is granted an option to license any NDSU Intellectual Property developed through the research and NDSU’s un-divided interest in any Joint Intellectual Property.  NDSU is granted a license to any Sponsor Intellectual Property developed through the research for teaching and research purposes only.
Scope of WorkDetailed description of Research ProjectDetailed description of Research Project
Maximum DeliverableSpecified Technical Report(s)Specified Technical Report(s)
Typical Billing/Payment MethodVarious billing and payment options (fixed price or cost reimbursable)Various billing and payment options (fixed price or cost reimbursable)
Documentation Required

1)Partnership Agreement (necessary for application submission)

2) Research ND Agreement1 or Venture Grant Phase II Agreement1

1) Approval of the industry partner by the Centers of Excellence Commission

2) COE Agreement

MatchProgram requires $1 of industry funding for every $1 of state funds spent on project.
Industry funding may be in the form of cash to NDSU, cash reserved or some combination thereof.
Program requires $2 of industry funding for every $1 of state funds spent on project.
A minimum of $1 industry funding must be in the form of cash to NDSU, cash reserved or some combination thereof.  The remaining $1 of required industry match may be in the form of cash to NDSU, cash reserved or in-kind contributions to the project.
Facilities & Administrative Rates4

Federal negotiated rate on industry funds provided as cash to NDSU.
No Facilities & Administrative costs are charged on State funds.

Federal negotiated rate on industry funds provided as cash to NDSU.
No Facilities & Administrative costs are charged on State funds.

Restrictions on use of State fundsState funds are used to offset the university expenses incurred in the performance of the project. State funds may not be used by or on behalf of the industry partner to offset  it's expenses.

 State funds are used to offset the university expenses incurred in the performance of the project. State funds may not be used by or on behalf of the industry partner to offset  it's expenses.

In addition, state funds may not be used to supplant the universities funding for current operations or academic instructions or to pay indirect costs.

1The Research ND and Venture Grant Phase II Agreements are COE Commission Agreements.
2A sample version of the NDSU Centers of (Research) Excellence template agreement is available.
3"Sponsor Intellectual Property” is defined as the rights to any technology conceived and reduced to practice solely by sponsor personnel; “NDSU Intellectual Property” is defined as the rights to any technology conceived and reduced to practice solely by NDSU personnel; and “Joint Intellectual Property” is defined as the rights to any technology which is conceived and/or reduced to practice jointly by NDSU personnel and sponsor personnel in the performance of the research.
4Information about NDSU's current F&A Rates can be found on the Sponsored Programs website.

Testing Services

The Testing Services Agreement is a non-negotiable contract used for measuring, testing or fabricating company-owned materials. Ownership of the testing results and any inventions which involve the use of, composition of, or improvement to company-provided materials or information, or a derivative, analogue thereof will be owned by the Company.  NDSU publication rights are limited to only new scientific findings.  Because the Testing Services Agreement was developed for a very specific use, assigns IP to the sponsor, and contains publication restrictions, an Investigator Agreement is required to be submitted with all internal routing forms for Testing Services projects.  The Investigator Agreement addresses Conflict of Interest, publication and intellectual property issues associated with service activities.

Testing Service Agreements
Terms of Publication

NDSU retains publication rights for new scientific findings only, subject to company's right to review

Intellectual Property TermsCompany owns deliverables arising directly from services provided by NDSU
Scope of WorkServices requested
Maximum DeliverableSpecific testing results (with no analysis provided) and/or prototype
Typical Billing / Payment MethodFixed price with advance payment
Documentation RequiredNDSU Testing Services Agreement

Facilities & Administrative Rates†

Federal Negotiated Rate

†Information about NDSU's current F&A Rates can be found on the Sponsored Programs website.

Policies Impacting Industry Sponsored Research

NDSU has policies that impact research on campus.  A list and links to NDSU Policies related to research is available through Sponsored Programs.  The NDSU Policy Manual is available online by section, indexed by policy number or indexed by policy title.


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Phone: 701.231.8045
Physical/delivery address:  1735 NDSU Research Park Drive/Fargo, ND 58102
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Last Updated: Friday, February 03, 2017 3:09:47 PM
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