BU is committed to getting our researchers’ ideas, technology, and work into the hands of the people they can benefit. The University’s Industry Engagement and Technology Development offices are here to help, whether that means facilitating industry meetings, obtaining a patent, completing license agreements, or providing guidance for starting a new company. Explore the information below or reach out.

We strive to respond as quickly as possible to faculty inquiries: within 48 hours of initial contact, meeting as necessary within two weeks, and delivering a full patent filing decision within 90 business days after receipt of a completed Technology Disclosure Form.

Submit an Idea


Transfer Your Technology


Technology Transfer Process


Intellectual Property Primer

Intellectual Property is generally characterized as patents, copyright, trademark, know-how, trade secret, or mask works.

In some cases the categories of Intellectual Property are mutually exclusive. For example, it is not possible to maintain a trade secret and also obtain a patent on the same subject matter because by definition, a patent is a public disclosure (i.e., it’s no longer a secret). However it is possible to both copyright and patent various aspects of the same intellectual advancement. Please read the sections below for a more detailed discussion of each intellectual property category and the protection afforded each type.


Material Transfer Agreements

A material transfer agreement (MTA) is needed any time a BU investigator receives materials, software, or human data into or out of BU.

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Confidentiality Agreements

Confidentiality agreements (CDAs) are used to protect proprietary or non-public information that is disclosed in the course of evaluating a possible business relationship. These are also referred to as non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) or secrecy agreements.

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View our event archive on the Office of Research website for additional materials and resources.