Conflicts of Interest Policy
The Millennium Alliance Conflict of Interest Policy will assure the highest level of ethical conduct of persons employed by or involved with the governance of the Alliance in all that pertains to the Alliance and to avoid public perceptions and financial consequences detrimental to the Alliance that could arise from the misuse, or perception of misuse, of an individual's position or influence.
Whenever any person belonging to the MA Founding Members/ MA Resource Partners/MA Evaluation Committees has a conflict of interest or a possible perceived conflict of interest with Millennium Alliance, he or she shall notify the Strategic Advisory Committee of such conflict in writing.
A conflict of interest may be defined as an interest that might affect, or might reasonably appear likely to affect, the judgment or conduct of an individual associated with the Alliance.
A conflict of interest may exist when the interests or concerns or potential interests or concerns of an officer, or staff member, or evaluation committee member, or said person's close relative (i.e., spouse, parent, child, sibling, niece, nephew, or in-law, or others living in the same household as any of the foregoing), or any individual, group or organization to which said person has allegiance, may be seen as competing with the interests or concerns of the Alliance, or may impair such person's independence or loyalty to the Alliance.
For example, a conflict of interest may exist if any person belonging to MA Founding Members/ MA Resource Partners/MA Evaluation Committees:
- Has a business or financial interest in any third party dealing with the Alliance. This does not include ownership interest of less than 5 percent of outstanding securities of public corporations.
- Holds office, serves on a Board, participates in management, or is employed by any third party dealing with the Alliance (including any party receiving the Alliance grant funds).
- Derives remuneration or other financial gain from a transaction involving the Alliance (other than salary reported and benefits as expressly contained in the services terms and conditions).
- Receives gifts from any third party on the basis of his or her position with the Alliance (other than occasional gifts valued at no more than Rs 2500 (approx $50); or if valued at more than that, the gift is made available in a team space or common area for others to share - e.g. a box of candy). All other gifts should be returned to the donor with the explanation that the Alliance policy does not permit the acceptance of gifts. No personal gift of money should ever be accepted.
- Engages in any outside employment or other activity that will materially encroach on such person's obligations to the Alliance; compete with the Alliance’s activities; involve any use of the Alliance’s equipment, supplies, or facilities; or imply the Alliance's sponsorship or support of the outside employment or activity.
MA Founding Members/ MA Resource Partners/MA Evaluation Committees shall not use information received from participation in the Alliance affairs, whether expressly denominated as confidential or not, for personal gain or to the detriment of the Alliance.
When any conflict of interest is relevant to a matter under consideration or requiring action by the Strategic Advisory Committee, the concerned person shall call it to the attention of the Strategic Advisory Committee and shall not be present during discussion or decision on the matter that involves the person’s conflict of interest. However, that person shall provide the appropriate authority – Who would be the relevant authority (on a case-to-case basis) with all relevant information on the particular matter.
The minutes of the meeting of the applicable evaluation committee shall reflect that the conflict of interest was disclosed, and that the person with whom the conflict had arisen was not present during discussion or decision on the matter, and did not participated in decision-making.
A copy of this conflict of interest policy shall be furnished to MA Founding Members/ MA Resource Partners/MA Evaluation Committees associated with the Alliance or who may hereafter become associated with it. The policy and its application shall be reviewed annually for the information and guidance of MA Founding Members/ MA Resource Partners/MA Evaluation Committees, each of whom has a continuing responsibility to scrutinize their transactions and outside business interests and relationships for potential conflicts and make such disclosures as described herein.
Intellectual Property Rights
It is expected that prior to applying into the Program some of the applicants will have one or other kind of Intellectual Property (IP) protection filed or granted. There is a further likelihood that while being in the Program cycle or during the period that the Fund is utilized by the awarded innovator, an IP subject matter arises and the innovator files for a suitable protection. The issues arising out of such IP filed or granted shall be governed as per the below mentioned provisions:
- General provisions
The Millennium Alliance, which shall also construe its founding members and other resource partners, shall, jointly or individually:
Endeavour to honour and protect an applicant’s proprietary data, commercially sensitive information and potentially valuable concepts or ideas from unauthorized, inadvertent or untimely disclosure;
Not seek any information that is deemed to be confidential and/or proprietary to the Innovator. To that end, the applicant shall also ensure that no such information is revealed at any stage of application process unless a suitable IP protection has already been filed for. Patentable ideas, trade secrets, privileged or confidential commercial or financial information, disclosure of which may harm the applicant, should be included in the LOI/application only when such information is necessary to convey a full and proper understanding of the proposed project. Such information must be clearly marked and be appropriately labelled with a legend such as:
"The following is (proprietary or confidential) information that (name of applicant/Organization) requests not to be released and be used only for purposes of review and evaluation." not retain or claim any ownership of, or exploitation or proprietary rights to, intellectual property, including copyright and patents developed/resulting from research supported with the MA awarded funds;
Awardees receiving MA funds for activities that involve a partnership must state to the MA, the ownership of all intellectual property and publication rights accruing from the joint activities.
- Provisions related to publication and copyrights
Unless agreed to in the contrary, the awardees shall own the rights in data resulting from a fund-supported project. On mutual consent, specific arrangements may be made between the MA founding members or resource partners and the awardee on terms and conditions that may indicate alternative rights. Except as otherwise provided in the award agreement, any publications, data, or other copyrightable works (also refereed to ‘works’) developed with MA fund may be copyrighted without MA approval. In all cases, MA will retain the right to reproduce, publish or otherwise use the works and to authorize others to do so for purposes of disseminating, advertising, knowledge sharing, and training purposes. Works developed by a consortium applicant or by using funds from other agencies is also is subject to this policy.
As a means of disseminating knowledge, MA encourages awardees to publish the innovative work in scientific and/or sector specific journals. Awardees should also assert copyright in scientific and technical articles based on data produced under the fund where necessary to effect journal publication or inclusion in proceedings associated with professional activities.
For each publication that results from the work accomplished partly or fully by MA fund, awardees must include an acknowledgment of MA fund support and a disclaimer stating the following:
“This publication was made possible by the funds received from the DST-USAID-FICCI Millennium Alliance Initiative (Details: www.millenniumalliance.in)” or “The project described was supported by the DST-USAID-FICCI Millennium Alliance Initiative (Details: www.millenniumalliance.in)” and “Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Millennium Alliance or any of its founding members or resource partners.”