New agreement launched to streamline research collaboration between life sciences industry, universities and the NHS
Research into new and improved treatment for patients received a major boost today when the government announced the launch of a new model agreement between the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries, universities and the NHS to streamline the research contracting process.
Use of the model Industry Collaborative Research Agreement – mICRA – will enable research studies involving industry, universities and the NHS to start faster by shortening the negotiation and contracting process. The agreement is part of the Government’s aim to promote the development of new and improved treatments for patients by reducing bureaucracy and supporting a flourishing research environment.
The model agreement is supported by a comprehensive guidance document which sets out its background and aims and details how the agreement should be used in the development of contracts for specific clinical research collaborations. A decision tree is also available to guide users in identifying when studies are collaborative and whether mICRA is applicable. The agreement has a choice of options for clauses covering intellectual property arrangements and the decision tree guides users through this process.
The National Institute for Health Research through its Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCRI) and the Medical Research Council have led a working group to develop the agreement. They brought together representatives from industry, universities and the NHS, together with the Intellectual Property Office and expert legal opinion to develop a range of templates that can be used to support all collaborative research scenarios. The goal was to produce an agreement that underpinned a culture of joint ownership and engagement, where reward is linked to investment and liability is linked to reward.
The HSC R&D Division in the Public Health Agency represented the interests of Northern Ireland’s HSC bodies and declared: ‘We endorse the development of the model Industry Collaborative Research Agreement (mICRA) and commend its routine use for research collaborations involving industry, universities and the NHS.’
The model agreement has been drafted to allow it to be used as a template for contracts covering any or all stages of clinical research undertaken collaboratively, from early proposals for collaboration and throughout the collaboration itself.
Full details are available on the NOCRI pages of the NIHR website at: www.nihr.ac.uk/nocri
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