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Technology Transfer Office

Core Facilities


Technology Transfer at NIH is the means by which publicly funded research data can be transferred from NIH laboratories to the general public so that the general public may benefit from the research and have improvement in health. For laboratory scientists, technology transfer is the bridge, or vehicle, which allows exchange of research materials and/or conducting collaborative research with academic and commercial organizations.

Image of how Technology is Transferred to the Outside World

Offices of Technology Transfer at universities are there to assist investigators in identifying the potential of their research. Is the research translatable into a product, a marketable use? Is it a research tool that might be licensed to a company? Should a patent be filed? Do you really need to sign a confidentiality agreement?

To translate research ideas into products of any kind, it's essential to protect your inventions; this includes filing a patent and understanding how to share your ideas and research materials to forge collaborations and at the same time safe guard your potential inventions. Simple letters of agreements and material transfer agreements are the most common tools used to share research materials, including genetically modified animals and plants. These agreements should be viewed as a vehicle to disseminate essential tools and at the same time protect the interests of both the provider and recipient scientists.

Technology Transfer at NIEHS encompasses all Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs), Cooperative Research Development Agreements (CRADAs), Employee Invention Reports (EIRs), biologic material licenses, and certain other scientific research agreements which may be required for a specific research project.

By law, federal inventors must receive the first $2,000.00 of income received by the agency and at least 15% thereafter, up to a maximum of $ 150,000/yr in royalties from all licensed technologies in which they are inventors.

The NIH formula is modified to modestly increase the inventor's share, by providing them with 25% of the income after $50,000 in royalties is attained, up to the statutory maximum of $150,000/year.

For NIEHS-related questions regarding Technology Transfer, please contact Director Office of Technology Transfer, Elizabeth Denholm (, Ph.D. Additional information may be found at the NIH Office of Technology Transfer ( Exit NIEHS and the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) for Technology Transfer ( Exit NIEHS.

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Last Reviewed: September 08, 2008