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The Principal Investigator, the Steering Committee and the host institution TSRI and all participants are committed to fostering open communication, and reducing barriers to the conduct of collaborative research within the project. The guiding policy for data sharing and intellectual property for work derived from this program is essentially identical to that put forth by The Alliance for Cellular Signaling (AfCS) and described in detail in the Alliance public information website (see for information about intellectual property issues). Our goals are to make certain that there is maximum leverage gained from the information derived from this program by both its participants and by the scientific community in general. We believe that the plan to support interactions of the program participants will make interactions a certainty. By following the data sharing and intellectual property guidelines set forth by the AfCS we will ensure unencumbered access by the general community through our website. It is also important to point out that with the exception of the Polymorphism Bridging Project all other work is done with either murine cell lines or with mice. Thus there is no reason to be concerned about issues such as “patenting” a mouse gene etc. Thus there will be a free release of information without concern for proprietary positions. Distribution of reagents, mice etc to the not-for-profit research community in general will be done under the terms of a general MTA (TSRI) that has been accepted by all institutions for nearly one decade. We do not envision providing materials to the private sector under most circumstances. However they will have equal access to information that is on the website. Should issues arise about the distribution of materials to the private sector decisions will be made in discussions with the Advisory and Steering Committee and appropriate officials at NIH. Finally we are fully committed to implementing the outstanding policies promulgated by the AfCS. Should issues regarding any policies of the current program arise we will comply fully with all NIH directives as they apply to the Glue Grant Program.

The policies of AfCS with respect to Bridging Projects will also form the basis for internal guidelines of this program. They also embrace the obligation to make the results of the research and the resources produced accessible to the public and to other investigators outside of the project. Recognizing that intellectual property rights must also be protected, there must be a clear understanding among the investigators and each institution on intellectual property matters in order to accomplish these goals. Each of the participating institutions has committed to work with the host institution, TSRI, to proactively address intellectual property issues. The underlying principles are outlined below.

Access to data generated by the large-scale collaborative project.

Communications within the Project. Open communication and sharing of data between Participating Investigators and the Core Resources will be a guiding principle of the Phase II project. Each Participating Investigator will provide regular updates of results and progress towards the specific aims and milestones achieved using program resources. Core Directors will similarly report on results and progress resulting from their respective cores. In addition, the status of resources available to Participating Investigators will be updated at a minimum of each quarter, and preferably more frequently. Program information will be collected, entered into a relational database and distributed to all participants via an Internet web site. The intent will be to provide timely updates of information prior to publication. Information deposited prior to publication or presentation at scientific meetings will be accessible only to participants in the program through use of an access code. Finally, the host institution will prepare an annual, cumulative progress report that will be distributed to all Participating Investigators, the Steering Committee and the Advisory Committee. As noted elsewhere regular videoconferencing, scheduled meetings and the website will make direct and timely communications a reality.

Communications outside the project. The distribution of results and information to the public shall be done according to each institution's publication policy. Program information released to the public will be accessible via a public web page maintained by the host institution that will provide a database of all deposited information. Updates of the database will be made regularly as information becomes public. A cumulative bibliography of publications resulting from the project will also be maintained. In addition, video conferencing equipment will be available for project communications as stated elsewhere in the application.

Intellectual Property Rights

Inventions. Member institutions will be encouraged to seek intellectual property protection for technology and data obtained as a result of this project. Participating Investigators that file invention disclosures which result from collaborative research will be expected to disclose the collaborative nature of the research and the names of the other Participating Investigators and their institutions. Inventorship will be determined by U.S. Law. Title to inventions will be determined by the inventors' obligation to assign to their employers. In accordance with 37CFR40 1, no member institution shall assign their rights to any third party. The contributions from the private sector come to the Phase II grant without cost or restriction. Members of the Phase II team from the private sector will have the same access to information as those members in not-for-profit institutions.

Research License. Each member institution shall grant to all of the other member institutions a non-exclusive, non royalty bearing, non-transferable license for internal research purposes to all intellectual property developed in performance of this program. Title holders to intellectual property will be encouraged to license their intellectual property rights, when appropriate, and in compliance with the NIH guidelines, to non-participating third parties for purposes of developing commercial products and public benefit.

Pre-existing intellectual program rights. The Steering Committee has discussed and determined that they are not aware of any pre-existing intellectual property rights of the participating institutions, which would impede or compromise the performance of this research program.

Resolution of Disputes

All disputes involving intellectual property will be resolved by alternative dispute resolution. The parties involved in the dispute shall mutually agree upon the arbitrators. A letter from two officers of TSRI indicating their commitment to upholding these guidelines in totality is in the attached appendix.

Dissemination of Technology and Materials

Technologies and materials developed in performance of this research program will be disseminated to Participating Investigators and Core directors of the program as part of the normal conduct of collaborative research. Depending on the policies of the individual institutions, materials may be transferred under the terms of Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs), the terms of which MTAs shall not differ substantially from the published proposed NIH Guidelines for the dissemination of research results. The host institution will work with the other participating institutions to streamline MTA procedures as much as possible to minimize the impact on the conduct of research. It is anticipated that the transfer of technologies to the public will occur through publications that result from the performance of the research as well via the public web site to be established and described elsewhere in the grant application. Several of the Core Resources have plans to honor reasonable requests for materials from investigators outside the project. Such materials will typically be supplied under an MTA that shall not differ substantially from the published proposed NIH Guidelines for the dissemination of research results.