A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), also referred to as a Confidentiality Agreement, is a legal contract creating a confidential relationship between the Ames Laboratory and the Industrial Partner(s). It outlines the confidential material knowledge, and the information the parties will share with one another, but wish to restrict access to or by other parties. Ames Laboratory can enter into non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements with individuals or entities.
Oftentimes when a scientist is working with an industrial partner on forming a research collaboration or are in discussions over research assistance that Ames Laboratory could put forth to help with a problem the entity has, there is confidential or proprietary information that must be shared. Ames Laboratory normally does not hold information confidential, though if the research is part of an invention disclosure that has not had a patent application filed, disclosure to the entity would constitute a public disclosure and jeopardize future patent filings; in this case, Ames Laboratory needs to have a NDA in place before you discuss such results outside of the Laboratory.
As an employee of Ames Laboratory, if you are asked to enter into a confidentiality agreement and/or are sent a NDA with an external party, it is your responsibility to have the NDA reviewed and signed/approved by the Innovation and Partnership and Technology Transfer (IPTT) office; you cannot obligate the Laboratory to hold information confidential with your signature alone.
If the partner does not have a company NDA that they would like to use, Ames Laboratory has a boilerplate NDA. Please be free to share this with individuals who you are in early discussions with, or alternatively, please send us an email with the information of the party who you'd like us to work with to execute an agreement. IPTT will be happy to complete a draft NDA and work with the other party(ies) to get an agreement executed.
Upon execution of the NDA by AMES, you and any other Lab researchers involved in the discussions will be asked to sign our fully executed copy as "Read, Understood and Agreed". At this point, you may then either share or receive proprietary information.
For information on DOE Techonology Transfer, please visit their website at http://techtransfer.energy.gov
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