Elemance pursues the recruitment, retention, and recognition of innovative experts and individuals who are leaders in their field of expertise. Further, Elemance encourages and promotes interactions of our team members with industry, the business community, and other public or private entities within the context and in a manner consistent with their roles, responsibilities, and commitment to the company.
Elemance requires the disclosure of Significant Business or Financial Interests that do or may represent or create Conflicts of Interest (COI), Financial Conflicts of Interest (FCOI). The following policy applies to all employees, independent contractors, and subcontractors. The objective of this policy is to create and implement management plans to mitigate, manage, reduce, or eliminate financial conflict of interests.
Management plans are designed to protect the integrity and credibility of Elemance, its employees, investors, and other stakeholders. We intend to ensure and protect the public trust and confidence that all projects, especially those funded by the government with taxpayer funds, are executed scientifically and financially to the highest standards.
Financial Conflicts of Interest (FCOI) can occur when Elemance team members, including Investigators:
- have a significant financial and/or business interest in an organization or engage in activities with an entity, including consulting or advising activities, that a reasonable person could deem to be influenced by the research or educational activities supported by external funding; or
- have business interests or consulting activities which appear to be related to their institutional responsibilities.
Elemance has adopted the following definitions:
- Institution means any domestic or foreign, public or private, entity or organization (excluding a Federal agency).
- Investigator means the principal investigator and any other person who is responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of research funded by US Government Agencies, or proposed for such funding. For purposes of the requirements of this subpart relating to financial interests, “Investigator” includes the Investigator’s spouse and dependent children.
- Research means a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. The term encompasses basic and applied research and product development. As used in this subpart, the term includes any such activity for which research funding is available from US Government Agencies.
- Significant financial interest as defined by federal policy is Significant Financial Interest means anything of monetary value, including but not limited to, salary or other payments for services (e.g., consulting fees or honoraria); equity interests (e.g., stocks, stock options or other ownership interests); and intellectual property rights (e.g., patents, copyrights and royalties from such rights). The term does not include: (1) Salary, royalties, or other remuneration from the applicant institution; (2) Any ownership interests in the institution, if the institution is an applicant under the SBIR Program; (3) Income from seminars, lectures, or teaching engagements sponsored by public or nonprofit entities; (4) Income from service on advisory committees or review panels for public or nonprofit entities; (5) An equity interest that when aggregated for the Investigator and the investigator’s spouse and dependent children, meets both of the following tests: Does not exceed $10,000 in value as determined through reference to public prices or other reasonable measures of fair market value, and does not represent more than a five percent ownership interest in any single entity; or (6) Salary, royalties or other payments that when aggregated for the Investigator and the Investigator’s spouse and dependent children over the next twelve months, are not expected to exceed $10,000.
Elemance must ensure that potential team member FCOIs do not negatively impact Elemance activities and stakeholders. Consequently, Elemance has established a protocol of monitoring and reporting led by the Cognizant Manager with oversight by CEO/CTO as necessary.
If the company becomes aware of an FCOI or a potential FCOI exists, the cognizant manager or other company designee will investigate. Upon determining that a significant financial interest, business interest, or consulting relationship exists, the conflicted party must work with the cognizant manager or designee to develop a management plan to reduce or eliminate the conflict.
If the conflict cannot be resolved short of removing the employee from a specific role or it is found that there was a deliberate failure to disclose the FCOI or change of status, then the CEO, CTO and cognizant manager will determine the appropriate action up to and including termination of the individual.
- The cognizant manager will meet with the conflicted individual to document and define the scope of the FCOI.
- If needed, Elemance will obtain legal and other third-party advice and consulting on the scope, nature, and business implications related to the FCOI and activity impact on the company.
- As needed, Elemance will request any additional documentation, interviews, and materials required to evaluate the FCOI adequately.
- Upon completing the investigation, the conflicted individual and cognizant manager will meet to develop and agree upon a management plan.
- The management plan will be signed by the cognizant manager and the individual. A copy of the plan will be placed in the appropriate employee and contractor file. A second executed copy will be provided to the individual.
- The cognizant manager will monitor compliance with the management plan on an ongoing basis (minimum annually) to confirm that the management plan has been implemented and is adequately addressing the FCOI.
- The conflicted individual will submit a report addressing the existing or new conflicts of interest (minimum annually).
All records pertaining to conflicts of interest will be maintained by the Elemance Administrative Department per the appropriate agency requirements. A Conflict of Interest Form will be completed by all employees and LLC members at least annually.
The cognizant manager may identify additional actions that might be included in an FCOI Management Plan. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Public disclosures
- significant business or financial interests;
- in each public presentation of the results of the research;
- Independent third-party monitoring or review of research;
- Disqualification from participation in the portion of the externally funded research where FCOI may exist;
- Divestiture of significant business or financial interests;
- Termination of relationships that create conflicts;
- Stakeholder Notifications
- any conflicting interest shall be reported to the awarding component that issued the award before expending any funds.
- any interest identified after the initial reporting to a funding/awarding agency shall be reported within 60 days of that identification.
- If it is determined that research bias has occurred, Elemance will promptly report the incident to the awarding agency.
- DISCLOSING IN PUBLICATIONS: It may be necessary and advisable that Elemance includes in publications a disclosure of FCOI. Such disclosure would likely follow one of the following examples:
- The lead/principal investigator, Name, has disclosed a significant ownership interest in Company Name. Company Name has ________the technology/research data/other discussed in this article/paper/publication.
- Before conducting this research, the principal investigator/researcher, Name, disclosed significant consulting activities with the research sponsor. Further, the research sponsor has licensed the technology reported in this publication.
- The research contained in this report was funded by: _____________. The principal researcher, Name, has significant financial interests or consulting activities with the funding entity.
- In the event of a failure by the Investigator to comply with Elemance’s policy and the result has biased the research; Elemance will notify the awarding agency within 30 days of the incident and the mechanism employed to take corrective action (implemented or planned).
- Elemance will make information on FCOI available to awarding agencies for review including the method by which each FCOI has been addressed: managed, reduced, or eliminated.
Last updated March 14, 2023.