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IBM analytics ‘search engine’ helps N.C. State save money


North Carolina State University is looking to leverage IBM analytics tools to better identify users of technology created at the Raleigh school, Triangle Business Journal reports. NCSU has completed two pilot studies to see whether Big Blue’s data analytics tools could cut down the time and energy folks in the university’s office of technology transfer spend trying to find companies capable of commercializing the innovations created by university researchers. Billy Houghtelling, director of the Office of Technology Transfer, says NCSU was able to cut the time to find companies from two to four months down to about a week. “There are significant cost and time savings using these analytics tools,” he says. NCSU has about 3,000 technologies waiting to be commercialized, and tools that can accelerate that process are quite desirable. Licensing technology to commercial enterprises can provide revenue to the university, which is of growing importance as state budgets are being slashed. For the pilot project, IBM provided two data analysis systems, Big Sheets and LanguageWare, for NCSU to use in finding commercial partners for two NCSU-developed technologies: a device for delivering inhaled medication and a vaccine for salmonella. A basic internet search would pull up millions of web pages related to those items, but the analytics tools were able to cull those pages down from more than a million to a few thousand, then a few hundred, and then to about 25. The tools work like search engines, except that users are able to set their own filters and parameters used in the search. And each time a search is conducted, users can then adjust those parameters until it delivers a manageable amount of information…

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