September 18, 2006

Inter-Institutional Agreement wins 2006 Deal of Distinction Award

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A new and easier method to quickly put together intellectual property bundles for licensing has won Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and the Science and Technology Corp. at the University of New Mexico the 2006 Deal of Distinction Award given by the Licensing Executive Society of USA and Canada.

“This is a major award for technology transfer,” says Paul Smith, Sandia’s licensing executive who negotiated with the other two entities to make the agreement possible. “We are happy to receive the award and proud of the agreement that simplifies tech transfer.”

The award was presented during the 2006 annual meeting of the Licensing Executives Society held Sept. 10-13 in New York City. Five other teams were also honored with Deal of Distinction Awards.

Smith says the license agreement, called the Inter-Institutional Agreement (IIA), is a contractual framework that facilitates the creation of patent bundles, the nonexclusive licensing of these bundles, and the distribution of licensing revenue and equity. It also requires the identification of an organization to lead the negotiations so that partners/licensees have straightforward access to the patent bundle.

Inspired by the Technology Research Collaborative and the Technology Ventures Corp, it is also designed for other research organizations to join in the arrangement.

“The flexibility and capability of this agreement give it great power and the potential to create both economic benefits for the region and technological advances that will strength the US,” Paul says.

Sandia is a National Nuclear Security Administration laboratory.

The IIA was originally signed by Sandia, LANL, and Science and Technology Corp. at UNM in January 2005. A public signing of the agreement was held the following month at the New Mexico State Capital attended by N.M. Gov. Bill Richardson and Sens. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M. Also signing at the public ceremony were New Mexico State University, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, the MIND Institute and the National Center for Genome Resources.

“The IIA is important because it is politically popular, makes life easier for everyone, is flexible, and will evolve as needed,” Smith says. “Most importantly, it’s a good chance to leverage technologies developed in New Mexico.”

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Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Sandia news media contact: Chris Burroughs,, (505) 844-0948