Research often produces information and knowledge that could be competitively significant to a sponsor.
Routine sponsor-researcher communications during the project provide early access for the sponsor to this information before publication of the research results.
Since MIT must freely publish the results of its research, MIT is unable to establish trade secrets.
MIT is willing to maintain the confidentiality of sponsor-owned confidential information needed by an MIT investigator for preparation or conduct of a sponsored research project. These confidentiality obligations can be described in a Research Agreement or in a separate Non-Disclosure Agreement.
In order for MIT to know what information is confidential, that information must be marked and identified as confidential by the sponsor at the time of its disclosure to MIT.