uOttawa researchers meet with Intellectual Ventures to develop solutions to emerging industry needs


The Intellectual Ventures (IV) software team visited uOttawa last week to discuss opportunities within their Invention Development fund. Working with this fund makes a lot of sense for university researchers given the fund managers are looking for inventions expected to have a major impact on society in the 5-7 year time frame. This model fits well with the strengths and goals of research intensive universities such as uOttawa.

Intellectual Ventures is a private equity investment firm founded by Nathan Myhrvold with the goal of creating a capital market for inventions. It has agreements with over 400 research institutions worldwide, including uOttawa.

At the meeting, David Ash and Jake Russell from IV presented five areas of interest to the software team and their industry clients.

– Augmented reality

– Next –generation cloud services

– Pervasive computing

– Multi core computing

– Big data

David cited a cloud services example where there will be a need for technologies that enable end users to easily move their data within the cloud, from one provider to another in a seamless fashion, without loss, and without a breach in security. IV assumes a world where data stored by cloud service providers is the norm, and there will be need to ensure customers have a choice to move data to services that best meet their needs.

To work with IV, inventors need to provide a well thought out solution to an emerging problem, as they would for a grant application. Extensive data is not required, but from the initial solution report, an inventor can continue to build a small cluster of work, and disclose improvements and complementary inventions to IV.

Over the past 3 years, researchers at uOttawa have received 14 cash awards for their disclosures to IV in areas such as software, telecommunications, sustainable materials, and food security. One researcher has received a research contract of $50,000 to develop intellectual property in an area of mutual interest.

Building on uOttawa’s relationship with Intellectual Ventures makes a lot of sense for our research community. Their long term focus on emerging problems allows an excellent opportunity for researchers to advance inventions that have a good chance of benefiting society in the medium to long term, and complements the usual route of publication.

Additional resources:

To Start Working with IV:

1. View requests at: https://ivin.intven.com/session/new or contact TTBE.
2. Write an abstract
3. Submit to TTBE for pre-screen
4. Submit full solution report (3-5 pages of text on the form)
5. Review and edit draft patent as required.
6. Receive invention award and patenting bonus.

About Ottawa Technology Transfer Network
The Ottawa Technology Transfer Network (OTTN) is a collaboration among academic research institutions affiliated with the University of Ottawa and who's goal is to enhance the economic impact of research commercialization through the sharing of best practices, enhanced market knowledge, student engagement and proactive industrial interation. OTTN members include the University of Ottawa, the Ottawa Hospital Research Institutie (OHRI), the Childrens' Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the Unviversity of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI)

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