Industry Sponsored Research
The following information provides an overview of available research programs and contracting options for engaging NDSU in research endeavors.
Sponsored Research Project with Defined Scope of Work*
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 sponsoring basic research and is suitable for a wide variety of projects. This traditional contract includes intellectual property terms that are consistent with federal policy and prevailing higher education practices and provides a sponsor with exclusive rights to commercialize any technology that is developed in the performance of the research. A sample agreement template is available.
For applied research projects, NDSU can, upon approval from the identified researchers, offer alternative licensing options which include:
Assessment Non-Exclusive Royalty-Free (Assessment NERF)
- Sponsor will be entitled to a limited term (max 5 yr) commercial, non-exclusive, royalty-free license in a defined field of use and also receives an option to extend the license at a commercially reasonable rate after the initial term. No sublicensing rights are granted to sponsor.
- NERF is contingent upon sponsor’s payment of patent expenses.
- Additional information on the Assessment NERF is available here.
Option Non-Exclusive Royalty-Free (Option NERF)
- Sponsor will be entitled to a commercial, non-exclusive, royalty-free license in a defined field of use for the life of the patent and will have the option to convert the NERF to an exclusive, royalty bearing license. Option must be exercised within six months of the initial disclosure of the invention. No sublicensing rights are granted to sponsor.
- NERF and option are contingent upon sponsor’s payment of patent expenses.
- Issue fee: 5% of total project costs ($7,500 minimum)
- Additional information on the Option NERF is available here.
- Sponsor will be entitled to an exclusive, sublicense-able, commercial license within a defined field of use.
- License is royalty-free until annual sales reach $20M, at which time a royalty rate of 1% of annual net sales will commence.
- License is contingent upon sponsor’s payment of patent expenses.
- Issue fee: 10% of total project costs ($15,000 minimum)
- Additional information on the Advance License is available here.
Agreement for General Research Support*
The Express Research Agreement provides a company with a simple way to support research within a particular field at NDSU. This one-page document covers the basic terms for the research funding. The sponsor receives an option to negotiate a license to commercialize any technology that is developed in the performance of the research and will receive a technical report at the conclusion of the research. Sponsor will also be acknowledged in any publication that results from the research. A sample copy of the Express Research Agreement is available for download.
*These contract templates and licensing options may not be used for projects which utilize any federal funding. If a sponsor is using any federal funds to support a proposed research project, the applicable federal terms and conditions will apply to any sub-award issued to NDSU.