Confidentiality Policy for Applications, Peer Review Materials, and Awardee Reports Submitted to Indiana 21st Century Research and Technology Fund
Indiana Code § 5-14-3-1 contains the text of the Access to Public Records Act for the State of Indiana.
Indiana Code § 5-14-3-4 lists a number of exceptions to the Access to Public Records Act. Among other exceptions from disclosure, subsection (a)(10) states that application information declared confidential by the Board of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (the “IEDC”) under Indiana Code § 5-28-16 are excepted from public records disclosure requirements.
The Board of the Indiana Twenty-First Century Research and Technology Fund (the “21st Century Fund”) previously approved a confidentiality policy pursuant to Indiana Code § 5-14-3-4(a)(10), which confidentiality policy has been adopted and followed by IEDC and 21st Century Fund staff since oversight of the 21st Century Fund was transferred to the IEDC. The policy provides that all information contained in a 21st Century Fund application, except for the abstract and title page, is treated as confidential information.
NOTE: Elevate Ventures, Inc. and its affiliates (collectively, “Elevate”), pursuant to a professional services contract with the IEDC for management of the 21st Century Fund, currently handle all applications for awards, peer reviews of all applications, and reports received from awardees as confidential information, and Elevate is subject to obligations of confidentiality as provided in the professional services contract.
Under the existing policy, “confidential information” is deemed to include all applications, peer reviews prepared by applicable review panelists and ad hoc reviewers, and awardee reports received by the IEDC. This information comes in many forms: trade secrets, information not yet publicly disclosed, patents applied for and dates of application, salary and benefits information for faculty/staff/students/employees, cost share commitments and support levels for projects, competitive information about focus areas for companies, grants applied for and levels of institutional support, etc.
Additionally, sections of the award agreements by and between the IEDC, with respect to funds sourced from the 21st Century Fund, and third party awardees, that are deemed “trade secrets” shall be included within the definition of “confidential information” due to the fact that such agreements represent information of each awardee that is of a confidential or proprietary nature, the disclosure of which may be harmful to the awardee.
Other information generated by the 21st Century Fund has been treated as public information, with much of this data available at our website.
The Entrepreneurship Committee of the Board of the IEDC has ratified the confidentially policy as revised herein relating to 21st Century Fund application information, specifically that applications (excluding the abstract and title page), reviews of the applications, individual reports and award agreements are confidential information protected from public disclosure to the fullest extent possible under Indiana Code § 5-14-3-4(a)(10).
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