Loan or Acquisition of Equipment or Software

On occasion, MIT researchers may seek to borrow or acquire equipment or software from an outside organization for use in research activities at MIT. When the intent is to borrow equipment or software for a limited time and then return it to the provider, a loan agreement is required. When the intent is to borrow equipment or software for evaluation that may lead to MIT’s purchase of the equipment or software, the agreement may need to incorporate terms allowing MIT to evaluate the equipment or software and eventually purchase it.

When the equipment or software is not commercially available, the provider may require additional terms to protect its intellectual property.

Sometimes, MIT may develop equipment or software for its own internal use that can be loaned temporarily to outside organizations because it is not being fully used for MIT’s purposes.

Software and databases that will be borrowed and/or acquired by MIT may be accompanied by a software license agreement.

Agreement Types:

Loan with potential acquisition of equipment or software by MIT

Describes the equipment or software to be loaned, the conditions for the loan, any payments required from MIT to enable the loan, and additional requirements. If the equipment provider supplies a contract to govern the equipment loan and acquisition, review the contract.

Where to get help:

  1. If the equipment provider supplies a contract to govern the equipment loan and acquisition, review the contract.
  2. If the contract has terms governing intellectual property (rights to inventions or results arising from use of the equipment), contact MIT’s Technology Licensing Office and provide the contract to them.
  3. If the contract has no intellectual property terms—or if the equipment provider has not provided a contract governing the equipment loan—send a consignment purchase requisition to MIT’s Procurement Office. Attach the equipment provider’s contract (if any) to your requisition. The loan/purchase order will be negotiated by Procurement. This process ensures that MIT’s Property Office can track loaned equipment for insurance and warranty purposes, and that the equipment’s purchase can be properly managed by MIT if you elect to acquire it at the end of the loan period.

Loan without acquisition at end of loan period

Describes the equipment or software to be loaned, the conditions for the loan, any payments required from MIT to enable the loan, and additional requirements. If the equipment provider supplies a contract to govern the equipment loan and acquisition, review the contract.

Where to get help:

  1. If the contract has terms governing intellectual property (rights to inventions or results arising from use of the equipment), contact MIT’s Technology Licensing Office and provide the contract to them.
  2. If the agreement lacks any intellectual property terms or incorporates a scope of work that must be conducted by MIT in exchange for the equipment loan, or if the equipment is being loaned to MIT by a research sponsor as part of an existing research agreement with that sponsor, contact the OSP Contract Administrator for your department, lab, or center.

In both cases, also send a consignment purchase requisition to MIT’s Procurement Office. In your requisition, please notify Procurement that an equipment use/loan agreement is being negotiated by TLO or OSP with the equipment provider, and that you will provide this agreement to Procurement once signed by MIT and the equipment provider. The agreement will become the terms and conditions of the consignment purchasing order issued by MIT to the equipment provider. This process ensures that MIT’s Property Office can track the loaned equipment for insurance and warranty purposes, and that MIT can properly manage the equipment’s purchase if you elect to acquire it at the end of the loan period.

Loan of MIT equipment or software to outside parties for use in research

Describes the equipment or software to be loaned by MIT, the conditions for the loan, the cost of the loan to the borrowing organization, and any additional requirements. In most cases, the equipment or software being loaned is not commercially available, so the agreement will contain terms protecting MIT’s intellectual property.

Where to get help: Contact the Technology Licensing Office.

Loan of MIT equipment for display purposes only

(e.g., at a museum or exhibition) that will not be modified or used in research by the borrowing organization.

Where to get help: Contact the Office of the General Counsel, VPF Procurement