4 - Services, advice and consultancy

4.5 - Encouraging collaboration through the regulation of contracts


Many of the universities and companies which are accustomed to collaborating have a series of standard contracts which optimise management tasks and prevent issues such as lack of equality in relationships, rights and obligations, or the abuse of situations, etc.

Defining contracts, responsibilities and signatories, and making them easily accessible helps both sides in the negotiation process and the subsequent implementation of the project. This includes contractual elements related to intellectual property.

This information is especially useful to SMEs, since they often do not have access to specialised legal advice.


La Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule de Zurich (ETH Zurich) specifies the following types or models of contracts:

  • Research agreements (research projects involving third parties).
  • Contracts for services (when there is no research project as such, but use is made of the intellectual property of ETH Zurich).
  • Contracts for sponsorship.
  • Contracts for donations.
  • Licences or option agreements:
    • Material Transfer Agreement.
    • Non-disclosure Agreements.
    • Agreements with public bodies such as the Swiss Agency for the Promotion of Innovation (CTI Agreements).
    • Consulting Agreements.

All these types of contracts, including diverse and detailed information concerning who should sign which kind of contract, are available on the ETH Zurich website and available to everyone.

Implementation process

Agents required for implementation

 Companies with greater experience should share contractual models with SMEs.

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