Biological Materials Transfer Project

The Biological Materials Transfer Project (MTA) developed and deployed standard, modular contracts to lower the costs of transferring biological materials such as DNA, cell lines, model animals and more - wikipedia

The MTA project covered transfer between non-profit institutions, as well as offering transaction solutions to transfers between non-profit entities and for-profit institutions.

It integrated existing standard agreements and new Science Commons contracts into a Web-deployed suite, with the goal of developing a transaction system along the lines of Amazon or eBay by using the licensing as a discovery mechanism for materials.

This metadata driven approach is based on the success of the Creative Commons licensing integration into search engines, further allowing for and facilitating the integration of materials licensing into the research literature itself and databases.

The hope being that scientists would eventually be only one click away from accessing and/or ordering the materials referenced in the scholarly literature as they perform their research. Unfortunately, the MTA project's tools were not adopted by more than a very small percentage of the scientific community while Science Commons was active and, for all practical purposes, died out when the Science Commons project folded.