Should I sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement at the proposal stage?
The preparation and submission of a proposal usually requires meetings and exchange of information among the project’s partners. At this point, among other issues, applicants should define the work packages and describe the research idea, which may result in the disclosure of valuable information.
To avoid any eventual misappropriation and use of such information, which could undermine its value and protection as an Intellectual Property Right (i.e. patent), it is advisable to conclude a non-disclosure agreement or NDA before entering in negotiations for the submission of a proposal.
Thus, we suggest applicants, in particular the coordinator, to explain the other partners of the project the advantages of having a NDA in place and propose a draft agreement to be negotiated before further discussions.