IBM and NC State are teaming up to promote technological transfer from the university to the marketplace using IBM's analytics technology.
IBM and North Carolina State University
have announced what they
described Aug. 11 as "a new project that matches university-invented
technologies ... with global business opportunities."
An IBM statement said:
"The project is designed to
encourage economic growth and get new inventions and scientific advancements
from NC State researchers into the marketplace quickly.
Commercializing new technologies is a
multi-phase process that involves matching academic research with potential
investors and then working closely with the inventors to provide counsel
regarding patents and copyright to assist in determining the most effective
methods to take the inventions to market. The biggest challenge in this process
is the ability to quickly sort through massive volumes of data to uncover
potential investors and partnerships.
To address this challenge, NC State
will use IBM's advanced analytics technology to
streamline the time consuming process of searching and matching potential
university research projects with investment and partnership opportunities."
Indeed, it is IBM's analytics technology
that enables NC State researchers to "search through massive amounts of
Web data, such as blogs, forums, reports, industry-related news sites and
government Websites to produce a short list of potential investors. By
streamlining the matching process with business analytics, more advanced
technologies are expected to be brought into the market," IBM
said. The statement continued:
"For example, a team of
researchers at NC State is investigating new strains of Salmonella for use in
vaccines. With IBM Big Data analytics technology, it took less
than a week for the university to analyze 1.4 million Web pages including
opinion blogs, social networks and documents. The analytics technology sorted
through a wide variety of information and analyzed the contents in real time to
find relevant details [...] ultimately identifying potential investors and
partners to grow the project. Prior to the use of IBM analytics, this process would have taken
months and involved dozens of people clipping newspaper reports, visiting Web
pages, making telephone calls, hiring translators, and then trying to figure
out a way to compare all [this] information."
"In our pilot project, IBM Big Data
analytics allowed our team to understand the potential opportunities for our
research projects, while at the same time reducing the tedious workload of finding
potential investors," Billy Houghteling, director of the Office of
Technology Transfer at NC State, said in a statement. "This project allows
us to concentrate on those activities of highest value and payback for the
The IBM statement said, "Faculty and
MBA students in NC State's College of
Management and the college's Center
for Innovation Management Studies are part of the team working with Houghteling
on this project." It continued:
"The goal of this project is to
improve the efficiency [with] which NC State identifies potential high priority
industry partners when they are trying to move university-owned early stage
technologies into the marketplace. Using IBM's "Big Data"
analytics technology, NC State can mine and analyze large amounts of web-based
data, resulting in a short list of companies that might be interested in
licensing technologies created at NC State.
With the amount of digital data
created annually predicted to grow 44-fold over the next ten years, NC State,
similar to business and industry, is faced with a big data challenge. The
expansive growth and sheer volume of data, some of which contains valuable
information for an organization, is making it difficult if not impossible to
sort through [data] using traditional methods. Businesses are quickly turning
to technology to process the petabytes [...] of data, also known as "Big Data,"
and extract relevant information. [...]
Developed in IBM labs around the world, the analytics
technology used in the pilot project mines large amounts of unstructured Web
data, IBM said. The analysis is based on factors such
as business relevancy, government policies, market needs and trends, etc.
"The volumes of data on our
planet are growing exponentially, which represents huge opportunities for
organizations that can unlock the insights hidden within the mountains of
information," said Rod Smith, vice president of software technology at IBM. "N.C. State University sets an example of using smart analysis of
big volumes of data to explore and kick start new businesses that push our
The statement went on, "As part of this project, NC State is using [several
IBM technologies, including] IBM
a software engine" out of IBM's
Emerging Technologies team "that helps get insights from really large data
sets easily and quickly." BigSheets is aimed at line-of-business
professionals and is part of IBM's BigInsights
portfolio. NC State also uses "IBM LanguageWare,
a text analytics tool created by IBM's
Dublin Software Lab in Ireland
for the purpose of harnessing the wealth of unstructured data contained in text
documents, Website content and enterprise applications." The university
also is using IBM Cognos Content Analytics, which
IBM described as "an analytics software
[technology]" that provides organizations with "the necessary tools
to access and analyze the volumes of unstructured content.
three components were running on IBM
Distribution of Apache Hadoop.
The statement concluded, "Today, IBM
is working with more than 250,000 clients worldwide on analytics projects,
including 22 of the top 24 global commercial banks, 18 of the world's top 22
telecommunication carriers and 11 of the top 12 U.S.