MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972
SEC. 37-147-1. Short title.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Mississippi University Research Authority Act."
SEC. 37-147-3. Mississippi University Research Authority established; purpose.
There is hereby created and established the Mississippi University Research Authority to promote the public welfare and prosperity of the people of Mississippi and foster economic development within the state by forging links among the state's educational institutions, businesses and industrial communities and state government through the development of cooperative ventures of innovative technological significance which will advance education, research or economic development within the state.
SEC. 37-147-5. Definitions.
The following words shall have the meaning ascribed herein unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(a) "Act" means the Mississippi University Research Authority Act;
(b) "Authority" means the entity created pursuant to this act;
(c) "Board" means the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning;
(d) "Technological innovations" means research, development, prototype assembly, manufacture, patenting, licensing, marketing and sale of inventions, ideas, practices, applications, processes, machines, technology and related property rights of all kinds; and
(e) "University" means a Mississippi educational institution established pursuant to the provisions of Section 213A of the 1890 Constitution of the State of Mississippi.
(f) "Intellectual property" means any formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique or process created primarily as a result of the research effort of an employee or employees of an institution of higher learning of the State of Mississippi.
SEC. 37-147-7. Composition of Authority.
The authority shall be composed of the following members: five members appointed by the Board from among the chief research officers of the eight institutions of higher learning, to serve at the will and pleasure of the board; the vice-president of the board during the term of his office; the Director of the Department of Economic and Community Development, or his designee; the President of the Mississippi Resource Development Corporation, a non-profit corporation organized and operating under the laws of the State of Mississippi; and the Commissioner of Higher Education as an ex-officio, non-voting member.
SEC. 37-147-9. Executive director of Authority.
The authority shall select an executive director who shall be the administrative officer of the authority and shall perform such duties as are required of him by law and such other duties as may be assigned by the authority. The executive director shall possess a terminal degree from an accredited university and must have a demonstrated record of experience in the field of university research programs, organizational management and research grant management. He shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by the authority.
The executive director, with the approval of the authority, shall employ such technical, professional and clerical help as may be authorized by the authority; and the authority, upon recommendation of the executive director, shall define the duties and fix the compensation of such employees.
SEC. 37-147-11. University ties with and interest in private entities; application; Authority permission.
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of state law, an officer or employee of a university, except any chief executive officer, any chief financial officer, any chief research officer or any member of the authority, may, pursuant to subsections (2) and (3) of this section, apply to the authority which, under policies, rules and regulations established by the authority, may grant permission to establish and maintain a material financial interest in a private entity which provides or receives equipment, material, supplies or services in connection with the university in order to facilitate the transfer of technological innovations from the university to commercial and industrial enterprises for economic development.
(2) To receive consideration for permission pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the officer or employee of the university must first receive approval in writing from the chief executive officer, or his designee, of the university at which he is employed. The chief executive officer may grant approval to the officer or employee only if all the following conditions are met:
(a) The officer or employee provides a detailed description of his interest in the private entity to the chief executive officer;
(b) The nature of the undertaking or enterprise is fully described to the chief executive officer;
(c) The officer or employee demonstrates to the satisfaction of the chief executive officer that the proposed undertaking may benefit the economy of this state;
(d) The officer or employee demonstrates to the satisfaction of the chief executive officer that the proposed undertaking will not adversely affect research, public service or instructional activities at the university; and
(e) The officer's or employee's interest in the private entity, or benefit from the interest, will not adversely affect any substantial state interest.
(3) The authority may authorize an officer or employee of a university to establish and maintain a material financial interest in a private entity if all of the following conditions are met:
(a) The application as set forth in subsection (2) of this section is approved by the chief executive officer of the university at which the applying officer or employee is employed;
(b) The authority enters such application upon its minutes and reaches positive findings:
(i) That the application contains an adequately detailed description of the officer's or employee's interest in the private entity;
(ii) That the application contains a detailed description of the proposed undertaking or enterprise that is sufficient;
(iii) That the authority is satisfied that the proposed undertaking will benefit the economy of the state;
(iv) That the authority is satisfied that the proposed venture will not adversely affect research, public service or instructional activities at the university; and
(v) That the officer's or employee's interests in the private entity or benefit from the interest will not adversely affect any substantial state interest.
(4) On the recommendation of the authority, the chief executive officer of the university at which the officer or employee is employed may require that the university or the university's research corporation have a share in any royalties or shares or other proceeds or equity positions from the proposed undertaking of the private entity.
(5) The authority may establish policies, rules and regulations for the implementation of this section.
SEC. 37-147-13. Powers of Authority.
The authority shall have the power to implement and further the purposes of the Mississippi University Research Authority Act including the power:
(a) To lease, sell, exchange or transfer to a university or university research corporation personal property, money or other assets on terms and conditions established by the authority which are fair, just and reasonable to the authority and the university involved and to enter into any other contract or agreement with the university research corporation or other private entity.
(b) To conduct, sponsor, finance and contract in connection with technological innovations of all kinds.
(c) To receive gifts, grants and donations of money, personal property or other assets of any kind from any source.
(d) To do anything else which the authority deems appropriate to further the purposes of the Mississippi University Research Authority Act.
SEC. 37-147-15. University formed research corporations.
(1) With the approval of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, any university may form, pursuant to the provisions of the Mississippi Nonprofit Corporation Act or the Mississippi Business Corporation Act, one or more research corporations, separate and apart from the state and the university, to promote, develop and administer enterprises arising from research or technological innovations in order to take advantage of opportunities of scientific, educational and economic development.
(2) Each such corporation shall be governed by, and all of the functions, powers and duties of it shall be exercised by, a board of directors appointed by the president of the university. Members of the board of directors may include the president of the university, officers and employees of the university, and other persons selected by the president of the university. Officers and employees of the university may have ownership or financial interests in such corporations.
(3) The board of directors of each such corporation shall adopt bylaws, in accordance with the provisions of the Mississippi Nonprofit Corporation Act or the Mississippi Business Corporation Act, as appropriate, governing the conduct of the corporation in the performance of its duties under its charter and this act.
SOURCES: Laws, 1992, ch. 530, eff from and after July 1, 1992.