Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Combining OA and tech transfer

The Kauffman Foundation launched the iBridge Network on Tuesday at the DEMO 07 conference.  (Thanks to Science Commons.)  From the press release (January 30, 2007):

Searching for the “missing link” to research just got easier....University researchers, industry representatives, and entrepreneurs can use the iBridge Web site to search for innovations that, until now, have been lost and untapped behind university walls.

With over 700 research projects listed, the iBridge Web site, is fast becoming the place for researchers and technology transfer officers to post research from their universities, as well as the place to go to find research occurring at other institutions. The Web site is designed to ease the transaction burden on university technology transfer offices and encourage more open and efficient access to research....

Universities may use the iBridge Web site to license and distribute a variety of items, including software, research tools, databases, teaching materials, surveys, and reference materials. Postings may include a variety of research materials and descriptions of ongoing research activities....

The iBridge Network also expands the number and scope of collaborative relationships among university researchers by increasing their awareness of existing research across the country. These relationships are a critical component in advancing innovations.

“Universities are tremendous wellsprings of knowledge,” said Laura Dorival Paglione, Director of the Kauffman Innovation Network, which manages the iBridge Network. “By encouraging widespread access to information and linking researchers with interested parties, we are hoping to more fully realize the innovation potential that research offers.”

In fact, the current lack of collaboration among university researchers is remarkable. According to the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), over $40 billion is spent on academic research annually, though only $1 billion makes it off of university shelves in the form of new inventions and research. Even a modest improvement in accessibility and transparency has the potential to yield huge social and economic returns....

PS:  From my quick tour of the site, it appears that the iBridge Network doesn't provide OA to peer-reviewed research articles but to specially written, detailed descriptions of patented, licensable discoveries and technologies.