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Kauffman Foundation Unveils iBridge to Facilitate University Technology Transfer

October 03, 2005

Designed to ease the transaction burden on university technology transfer offices and encourage more open and efficient access to research, the Kauffman Foundation recently unveiled iBridge, a web-based platform under the Kauffman Innovation Network.

The flexible nature of the iBridge platform allows universities to adapt it to best complement their existing processes for collaboration and technology transfer, according to a press release from the Kauffman Foundation. The application may be used by universities to license and distribute a variety of information including software, research tools, databases, teaching materials, surveys, and reference materials. To safeguard a university's interest in its intellectual property, posting a discovery on the website formally discloses that discovery and starts a record-keeping file.

The program also aims to expand the number and scope of collaborative relationships by increasing awareness of existing research across the country. According to the Kauffman Foundation, these relationships are a critical component in advancing new discoveries and may lead to more ideas and inventions. Research from the Kauffman Foundation also indicates there is growing evidence that innovations residing in universities remain dormant far too long. While hundreds of universities now have tech-transfer offices, few can afford to staff them optimally for all the work of evaluating and managing research, a key obstacle in unlocking innovations, said the Kauffman Foundation.

Seven universities throughout the U.S. are piloting the application in the coming months. To date, Washington University in St. Louis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Cornell University, and the University of Kansas have signed on. Other universities are encouraged to join. More information about iBridge is available at: http://www.innovationbridge.org