UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 7 | May
Flintbox Sparks Wider Audience
A new path to access UBC technology.
By Brian Lin
It just got a lot easier to purchase and download Information Technology
software created at UBC.
The UBC University-Industry Liaison Office has created Flintbox,
a web-based application for marketing and licensing technology online.
For the first time, you'll be able to search information technology
applications, get details, purchase an end-user license and download
the software in just a few minutes.
When software is not suitable for patent or exclusive license arrangements,
the costs and arduous process of administering higher-volume lower-value
licenses can deter academics who may otherwise have been wanting
to build a business case or generate some revenue from their work.
With Flintbox, researchers can disclose their technology to the
UILO and then have their software licensed and sold online within
a few days. "The disclosure and due diligence process is much
easier for copyrighted materials intended for Flintbox," says
Project Manager Stephen Smith. "With Flintbox researchers get
access to a much wider audience than through their personal web
site. All the licensing issues and considerations have been taken
care of for them, and through Flintbox they can get valuable feedback."
Flintbox is intended to fill the void between open source licensing
and the more conventional bilateral license agreements that are
undertaken by the UILO. "The real benefit to researchers isn't
making $50 on a transaction, but the ability to efficiently do hundreds
of transactions, garner feedback and find a larger audience and
interest for their work."
"It's something we have never done before and frankly, no
UILOs have done," says Smith. But they're quickly catching
on. Westlink Innovation Network (see www.westlink.ca)
and the Federal Partners In Technology Transfer have adopted the
application as their portal for IT technology.
The UBC implementation of Flintbox is accessible at www.ubcsoftware.ca.
Researchers who have technologies to post on Flintbox can contact
or get more information at www.uilo.ubc.ca.