UBC Reports | Vol.
51 | No. 7 |
Jul. 7, 2005
By Lorraine Chan
Picture Flintbox ™ as the cyber unit of the UBC UILO.
Developed at UBC, Flintbox™ streamlines and short cuts the usual high costs associated with licensing and marketing early stage research results, especially unpatentable technologies.
Flintbox™ also catalyzes information sharing between the inventor and business, industry and the larger research community. Products can include software, shareware, freeware or any other research material.
Products that Flintbox™ currently licenses include a survey tool to assess the commitment level of new employees and a lung-analysis, computer graphics program that helps to treat emphysema. Prior to this computer program, the only way to study emphysema was via a removed lung under the microscope.
Flintbox™ enables researchers to market, distribute and license their inventions, no matter what stage of development. Also, if the product is in its early stage, researchers can invite feedback to continue improving on their technology. As well, they can develop relationships with industry users, who may be interested in sponsoring the research.
Before this online licensing process came to existence in 2001, many researchers had to shelve research advances and new knowledge because they had no way of making these available to users and buyers.
Flintbox™ has signed on 35 organizations from across North America, and has facilitated 2,305 licenses in more than 77 countries. It provides access to university research projects by allowing researchers to post their projects online and enabling the transfer or license of intellectual property to users.
Flintbox™ was initiated in the spring of 2001 by UBC Research Enterprises (a wholly owned subsidiary of UBC) and WestLink Innovation Network Ltd.