Frequently Asked Questions about NDAs

NDAs protect confidential information belonging to Georgia Tech and other parties while they are investigating opportunities for collaborative research. Don’t be scared of NDAs, but realize they may be necessary.

No, not at all! After you submit a request via the NDA routing form, the Office of Exchange Agreements will begin working on your agreement and may contact you for help in facilitating its completion. Some NDAs are more complex than others, but many can be accomplished relatively quickly in a few simple steps. 

Though an NDA may be part of an overall sponsored project or program, the nature of the project, the sponsor, and ultimate funding source will determine whether the Office of Industry Engagement or the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) will review the agreement. If you are in doubt, don't hesitate to contact the Office of Exchange Agreements, and we will help identify the appropriate office for you. 

You can only sign an NDA if the agreement is related to your consulting for that company and the agreement is issued to you as an individual. Only certain employees have the authority to bind GTARC and GTRC contractually; most faculty cannot. You may not share Georgia Tech confidential information with the company, and you may not share the company’s confidential information with anyone at Georgia Tech. If you are being asked to personally sign an NDA, and do not believe it is appropriate, contact the Office of Exchange Agreements as soon as possible. 

Agreements will not be entered into retroactively; however, the Office of Exchange Agreements will work with you to employ all available mechanisms to protect information that has not yet been disclosed. Please contact the Office of Exchange Agreements to determine how best to resolve the issue. 

We make every effort to update our researchers on delays or issues with their NDAs.  Sometimes a small company prefers to send an agreement to a lawyer for review, which can add time to the process. In other cases, a large company may have policies that limit what can be agreed, so must seek approval for some terms. If you are wondering about the status of your agreement, please don’t hesitate to contact the office helping you with your NDA!

NDAs generally cover a specific exchange of information, and any amendment to expand the scope of the original NDA may require additional negotiation for both Georgia Tech and the collaborating company. The Office of Exchange Agreements will handle amendment requests on a case-by-case basis depending on the type of amendment requested.  However, if the NDA has expired, you will need a new agreement.

You may be added to an existing NDA if the Principal Investigator (PI) identified in the NDA approves of your access to the information and your need meets the purpose/subject matter of the exchange. Also, please remember that you must sign the signature sheet to be able to work under the NDA. If neither of these conditions can be met, then a new NDA will need to be negotiated.

 

We need to know about foreign nationals in case there is a deemed export, which occurs when export controlled technology or source code is provided to a foreign national within the United States. 

An export review must be completed and the exchange with the foreign company must be approved prior to the NDA being granted. Sometimes an exchange will not be approved, but our office will work with you to reach a resolution.