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Working with IBRL

The IBRL is designed to work with many types of clients, ranging from researchers at the University of Illinois or abroad, to Fortune 50 companies or small start-ups.  Individuals can access the facility as part of our educational programs or student clubs.


IBRL is a new and exciting resource for faculty at the University of Illinois. Faculty members who are seeking to perform research at a larger scale should contact the IBRL staff to discuss collaborations and equipment availability. The IBRL has already been included and considered in a number of grant applications from a variety of funding agencies. IBRL strives to support the research missions of the University of Illinois and its faculty.



The University of Illinois is accustomed to working with external partners for a multitude of goals and purposes. In order to facilitate these partnerships, the Office of Sponsored Programs has a number of standard contracts and agreements. IBRL works with the UIUC team in the Office of Sponsored Programs to legal contracts are executed properly and beneficially. IBRL has several mechanisms to allow researchers or companies access to the facility, its equipment, and personnel:

  • Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA): University of Illinois has a version that can be executed, or a company’s NDA can be reviewed by our Office of Sponsored Programs for IBRL staff to sign.
  • Material Transfer Agreement (MTA): These typically originate with the company and are reviewed by the Office of Sponsored Programs.
  • Research Agreement (RA): These contracts are for more traditional research projects conducted with University of Illinois faculty or students. These projects develop ideas jointly between the university and the sponsor, and the intellectual property is subsequently negotiated.
  • Technical Testing Agreement (TTA): The most commonly used contract, a TTA grants access to IBRL resources for testing a new product or process, while protecting company IP.  Clients are able to work in the facility after completing applicable safety training, allow our staff and students to perform the majority of the test, or some combination of labor from the sponsor and our staff.  Technical expertise on the equipment is available for these agreements.

Project Budgets

IBRL operates on a cost recovery basis, paying for its operations and staff through fees collected from its users.  Budgets are provided at the start of a project, and typically consist of daily rates for facilities and equipment, and hourly rates for staff assistance.  Internal projects can be completed with a pre-approved budget and CFOP transfer.