Working with Industry

Ohio University (OHIO) is a state funded institution of higher education. It is designated as an instrumentality of the State of Ohio, and as such holds non-profit status under the Ohio Revised Code, sections 509(a)(1) and 170(b)(1)(A)(ii).

A Guide for Our Industrial Partners

Industry funded research and technology transfer at Ohio University (OHIO) have grown at a swift pace over the past several years. This is due primarily to the top-quality faculty at OHIO and the breadth and scope of the research areas they represent. OHIO has received recognition in biomedical research, electrical engineering, computer science, materials research, avionics engineering, geography, forensic chemistry, physics, nanotechnology, and telecommunications, to name a few areas.

University researchers attract external research and development awards of approximately $60 million annually, and rankings for invention disclosures per million dollars of funded research place OHIO in the top 17 percent of public institutions nationally.

Partnering with business and industry is important to OHIO and its public service and economic development mission. Collaborating on sponsored projects and transferring technology for public use are part of OHIO's goal of being a leader in addressing the issues and challenges facing the state and beyond.


Projects funded by public or private entities should cover the full cost of the activity, including direct and facilities and administrative (F &A) costs. The F&A cost rate for research conducted at OHIO is 47 percent. For the complete rate agreement, see OHIO F&A Cost Rates [PDF].

Agreements may be funded by a fixed amount or based on actual-cost invoices. To allow the university to maintain a reasonable cash position, there is normally a substantial initial payment when the contract is signed with no more than 10 percent held back for submission of a final report. Checks are made payable to Ohio University, IRS EIN #31-6402-113.

Intellectual Property

OHIO encourages commercial development of intellectual property made in the course of sponsored research and will typically grant the sponsor a first option for exclusive license to resulting intellectual property. The cost of an option and/or royalty rates is normally negotiated at the time of licensing. If federal funds contributed to the development, federal laws govern some rights to use the intellectual property.

Conflict Obligations

OHIO does not knowingly accept a contract that conflicts with the obligations for another agreement. An agreement may not include a general restriction that prevents the investigator or others from doing research for other sponsors in similar areas.

Authority to Contract

Faculty and staff are encouraged to discuss ideas for potential research projects with industry representatives. Actual work should not begin on a project until the appropriate documents are submitted through OHIO's internal review process and both parties sign a mutually acceptable agreement. Only designated officials are authorized to sign agreements for the university. Faculty members may not obligate OHIO in this manner.

Best Efforts, Liability

Due to the unpredictable nature of research, OHIO does not agree to guarantee results. Research is conducted on a "best effort" basis, based upon a clearly defined scope of work, and the university cannot accept a penalty if a sponsor is not satisfied with the results. In accordance with state law, OHIO may not indemnify or hold harmless. However, OHIO will be responsible for its actions to the extent provided by statute.


To fulfill its mission as a tax-exempt academic institution, OHIO must be free to disseminate the results of research and other scholarly activities. Therefore, the university may not accept agreements that prohibit or restrict the right to publish. OHIO clearly recognizes the need of industry sponsors to protect the confidentiality of their own information. When a sponsor provides proprietary information to an investigator, that information will be held in confidence. Sponsors are generally given 30 days to review proposed publications and up to an additional 90-day delay if needed to protect intellectual property.

Contact the ORSP Service Center at or call 740.597.6777 (ORSP) for assistance.