Sponsored Research and Development

Sponsored Research Agreements (SRAs) are an important and widely used mechanism for industry sponsorship of directed research in university laboratories.

In this type of arrangement, one or more companies fund a university researcher to conduct a specific project with defined objectives of interest to the companies. Typically, SRAs are used to perform specific tasks on known potential products or developing technologies. The NTI plays a vital role by matching the development needs of its corporate members to university laboratories, and providing matching funds to accelerate its development.

The proposed work must advance the development of, demonstrate the commercialization potential of, or otherwise increase the commercial value or alternative use of nanotechnology-based initiatives.  These projects require demonstrating the progression of a technology towards commercialization, i.e., products.  They must show how the results will move the technology towards a marketable technology or product.  An executed Sponsored Research Agreement must be in place prior to any disbursement of matching funds.  In addition, the IP terms must be in the SRA must allow for potential revenue to the Institution(s).

The Promise of Nanotechnology

“The use of nanotechnology in consumer products and industrial applications is growing rapidly, with the products listed in the inventory showing just the tip of the iceberg.  How consumers respond to these early products — in food, electronics, health care, clothing and cars — will be a litmus test for broader market acceptance of nanotechnologies in the future.”

–Andrew D. Maynard
Chief Science Advisor, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars